November 17, 2020
On November 19th, MSc MA Aino Assmuth will defend her doctoral thesis ”Economics of carbon storage in heterogeneous forests”. Using a novel bioeconomic model framework, Assmuth studies how carbon storage can be increased by changing the way forest stands are managed.
The thesis contains a summary chapter and three articles. The first article utilizes continuous-time optimal control theory to study timber production and carbon storage with optimized management regime choice between continuous cover forestry and rotation forestry (i.e. management based on clearcuts). The second article extends this model by numerically applying a size-structured growth model, detailed economic setup, and several carbon pools. The third article extends the optimization approach of the second article to mixed-species stands with both commercially valuable and non-valuable tree species. The results suggest that carbon pricing improves the competitiveness of continuous cover forestry relative to rotation forestry, and changes thinnings to allow trees to grow larger before they are harvested. Carbon pricing also leads to higher tree species diversity and deadwood quantity. The dissertation shows that the set of economically efficient methods for enhancing carbon storage in forests is much wider than previously thought.