Estimating the societal benefits of carbon dioxide sequestration through peatland restoration

Ecological Economics
By: , and 

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Abstract

The Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge (GDS) is a forested peatland that provides a number of ecosystem services including carbon (C) sequestration. We modeled and analyzed the potential capacity of the GDS to sequester C under four management scenarios: no management, no management with catastrophic fire, current management, and increased management. The analysis uses the Land Use and Carbon Scenario Simulator developed for the GDS to estimate net ecosystem C balance. The model simulates net C gains and losses on an annual time-step from 2013 through 2062 which is converted to carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2-eq) and monetized using the Interagency Working Group's Social Cost of Carbon. Our analysis incorporates compounded uncertainty including variation in ecological processes, temporal and spatial heterogeneity, and uncertainty in the discount rate. The no management scenario results in 2.4 million tons of CO2 emissions with a Net Present Value (NPV) under a 3% discount rate of −\$67 million. No management with catastrophic fires emits 6.5 million tons of CO2 with an NPV of −\$232 million. Current management avoids 9.9 million tons of emissions (via sequestration) with an NPV of \$326 million. Increased management avoids 16.5 million tons of emissions with an NPV of \$524 million.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Estimating the societal benefits of carbon dioxide sequestration through peatland restoration
Series title Ecological Economics
DOI 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2018.08.002
Volume 154
Year Published 2018
Language English
Publisher Elsevier
Contributing office(s) Science and Decisions Center, Eastern Geographic Science Center
Description 11 p.
First page 145
Last page 155
Country United States
State North Carolina, Virginia
Other Geospatial Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge, Dismal Swamp State Park