For tropical hardwood the situation is different: (1) In the case of FSC wood, the change in sequestered carbon is zero, since the forest is a “steady state” system either by “rotational” Reduced Impact Logging (RIL), or it is a plantation, (2) In case of illegal ‘clear cut’, the carbon sequestration degradation (debit) is considerable, and calculated for ‘4 side sawn’ beams per kg. See webpage wood for more information.
The eco-costs of biodegradation of land-use for (tropical) wood
For the eco-costs of land-use in tropical forests (biodegradation), the prevention costs of biodiversity have been calculated for the prevention of the production of palm oil from palm oil plantations in Indonesia (which is one of the most appalling situations of degrading biodiversity). The prevention measure here is to stop the palm oil production and replace that by oil from agricultural waste (biobased oil by pyrolysis of waste). These prevention costs are estimated at 6.0 €/m2, applied to land with a biodiversity of 4000 vascular species per 10.000 km2 (case: Sumatra and a big part of Kalimantang). The degradation of 4000 species per 10.000 km2 is set as the norm for palm oil plantations: biodiversity factor = 1. Other countries are compared to this norm with a biodiversity factor, proportional to the number of species, ranging from 1.25 (e.g. Central Kalimantang, Part of the Andes and Middle America, with more than 5000 species per 10.000 km2) to 0.025 (e.g. Greenland, northern part of Siberia, Sahara, with about 100 species per 10.000 km2), see Table 2.5, and see Fig 2.5a (for a high resolution global map, see world biodiversity map high res).
Eco-costs of species richness (€/m2) =
Area (m2) x 6.0 (€/m2) x ‘biodiversity factor’
An interesting issue here is the fact that this biodiversity factor reasonably holds for other biodiversity indicators, like number of mammal species and bird species on a normalised logarithmic scale. See Fig 2.5 b and c. Other maps on specific species can be found at the website of the biodiversity mapping organisation developed by Clinton Jenkins of the IPÊ – Instituto de Pesquisas Ecológicas (Jenkins et al. 2013).
The eco-costs of land-use for agricultural products from Europe and the US
To enable land-use calculations for agricultural products in Ecoinvent, a conversion table has been created to cope with the Ecoinvent Occupational Land-use data, based on the degradation of biodiversity caused by the growing area of agricultural land (12.5% per 30 years, see FAO report ‘World agriculture: towards 2015 / 2030‘). Since Ecoinvent does not provide data per region or country, the EU area (i.e. Germany, France) and the agricultural areas of the USA, Australia and Argentina, with a biodiversity factor of 0.375, are taken as norm for this calculation.
Note 1. Brazil has an average biodiversity factor of 0.75, so two times the factor for the EU and the USA. The consequence is that the eco-costs of land-use that are calculated by the Ecoinvent data must be multiplied by a factor two for agricultural production in Basil.
Note 2. When you want to make your own calculation on land-use change, and you have your specific data on species richness of vascular plants per 1 km2 (instead of 10.000 km2), the biodiversity factor is 0.3125 for 315 species per 1 km2 (see Table 6.2 at Natural Capital).