Carbon sequestration or water yield? The effect of payments for ecosystem services on forest management decisions in Mediterranean forests
Publication date: Available online 4 May 2018
Source: Water Resources and Economics
Author(s): Paola Ovando, Santiago Beguería, Pablo Campos
A decrease in net benefits from market-based forest products over the last three decades seems to be connected to the increasing abandonment of forestland in Mediterranean areas of Europe. In this paper, we estimate spatially distributed probabilities of continuing with forest management practices in mainly native pine and oak forests in Andalusia (southern Spain). The continuation of active forest management encompasses landowners' investment in operations that promote the recruitment of new individuals of the same species once a stand reaches its rotation age. On the contrary, abandoning forestry investment involves natural self-regeneration including tree densification, shrub encroachment and forest species replacement. We estimate the long-term effects of alternative scenarios of forest management on carbon sequestration and water provisioning services (blue water, i.e. surface discharge and ground water recharge). We examine the effect of payments for carbon sequestration, or alternatively for increasing blue water, on forest management decisions. Results are provided as spatially disaggregated values over different time frames up to 2100 and consider the sensitivity of forest investment decisions to a wide range of price levels and discounting rates.