Carbon revenues and economic breeding objectives in Eucalyptus globulus pulpwood plantations
This paper investigates the integration of carbon revenues into production system models used to define economic breeding objectives for the genetic improvement of Eucalyptus globulus pulp-wood plantations. A model was used to estimate that carbon dioxide equivalent accumulation in biomass in the Australian Eucalyptus globulus plantation estate established between 2004 and 2012 was in the order of ~146 t CO₂e ha⁻¹, of which 62 t CO₂e ha⁻¹ were tradable in 2012 and a further 30 t CO₂e ha⁻¹ were tradable in 2016. By considering a system where revenues for carbon sequestration are directly dependant upon biomass production in a plantation, it was possible to determine whether economic breeding objectives for the genetic improvement of E. globulus will be sensitive to the revenue from carbon sequestration. The correlated response of breeding objectives with and without carbon ( ΔcGH₁ ) never fell below 0.86 in sensitivity analysis, and the mean was 0.93. As such, where economic breeding objectives for the genetic improvement of Eucalyptus globulus for pulpwood plantations are based on maximizing NPV by increasing biomass production, the consideration of carbon in economic breeding objectives will provide no significant gains in NPV.