Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Estimating the societal benefits of carbon dioxide sequestration through peatland restoration

December 1, 2018

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.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2018
Title Estimating the societal benefits of carbon dioxide sequestration through peatland restoration
DOI 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2018.08.002
Authors Emily J. Pindilli, Rachel Sleeter, Dianna M. Hogan
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Ecological Economics
Series Number
Index ID 70201916
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Eastern Geographic Science Center