Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


College of Science and Mathematics


Earth and Environmental Studies

Thesis Sponsor/Dissertation Chair/Project Chair

Pankaj Lal

Committee Member

Deniz Ozenbas

Committee Member

Haiyan Su

Committee Member

Lire Ersado

Committee Member

Zeyuan Qiu


Although the emergence of woody bioenergy offers several energy, economic, social, and environmental benefits, forestland owners’ willingness to participate in a biomass supply market, how it affects land use choices, and forestland owners’ sustainability concerns are not well understood. In addition to these gaps, how much residual biomass forestland owners are willing to retain on site for soil fertility and other environmental benefit purposes and forestland owners’ tendency to enroll in public incentive programs are not fully documented. Because private forestland owners manage two thirds of the 214 million acres of forest cover in the southern United States, understanding their response to a growing woody biofuels industry is important, among others towards assessing its sustainability. This dissertation addresses these issues using primary data collected from the southern states of Virginia and Texas, which are among the most resource rich states where private forestland owners play a significant ownership role.