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Title: Improving North American forest biomass estimates from literature synthesis and meta-analysis of existing biomass equations

Author: Chojnacky, David C.; Jenkins, Jennifer C.; Holland, Amanda K.;

Date: 2009

Source: In: McWilliams, Will; Moisen, Gretchen; Czaplewski, Ray, comps. Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) Symposium 2008; October 21-23, 2008; Park City, UT. Proc. RMRS-P-56CD. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. 7 p.

Publication Series: Proceedings (P)

   Note: This article is part of a larger document. View the larger document

Description: Thousands of published equations purport to estimate biomass of individual trees. These equations are often based on very small samples, however, and can provide widely different estimates for trees of the same species. We addressed this issue in a previous study by devising 10 new equations that estimated total aboveground biomass for all species in North America (Jenkins et al. 2003). We selected 318 total biomass equations (out of 2,626 identified in the literature), based on applicability for estimating biomass from only diameter measurements, and used a modified meta-analysis to develop new equations. This was done by using regression analysis on data generated from those 318 equations for tree sizes within the diameter bounds of the original data. We also included two sets of ratio equations, for hardwood and softwood species, to separate out biomass of different tree components-foliage, branches, bark, and roots. The Joint Fire Science Program funded this work to create more generalized biomass equations for regional fire-fuels managers by extending our literature synthesis. We are updating our work with literature published through 2008. We will devise new equations to allow for more differences within North American regions and provide greater accuracy for local use. The new analysis will use equations from the literature that include height as well as diameter, but will result in biomass equations that do not require height as an input variable. The results of our analyses to date suggest that allometric scaling theory may be applied in future studies to more accurately estimate tree biomass from diameter and whole-tree density measurements.

Keywords: allometric equations, tree biomass, biomass estimation, tree carbon

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Chojnacky, David C.; Jenkins, Jennifer C.; Holland, Amanda K. 2009. Improving North American forest biomass estimates from literature synthesis and meta-analysis of existing biomass Equations. In: McWilliams, Will; Moisen, Gretchen; Czaplewski, Ray, comps. Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) Symposium 2008; October 21-23, 2008; Park City, UT. Proc. RMRS-P-56CD. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. 7 p.

 


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