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Title: Assessing the uncertainty of forest carbon estimates using the FVS family of diameter increment equations

Author: Russell, Matthew B.; Weiskittel, Aaron R.; D’Amato, Anthony W.;

Date: 2012

Source: In: Morin, Randall S.; Liknes, Greg C., comps. Moving from status to trends: Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) symposium 2012; 2012 December 4-6; Baltimore, MD. Gen. Tech. Rep. NRS-P-105. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station. [CD-ROM]: 378-382.

Publication Series: Paper (invited, offered, keynote)

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

Description: Serving as a carbon (C) accounting tool, the Forest Vegetation Simulator (FVS) is widely used by forest managers and researchers to forecast future forest C stocks. Assessments of the uncertainty that FVS equations provide in terms of their ability to accurately project forest biomass and C would seemingly differ, depending on the region and scale of interest to the user. This analysis used permanent sample plot data obtained from the annual Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) Program database to assess the performance of the diameter at breast height (d.b.h.) increment function in the Northeast and Lake States variants of FVS. Up to three measurements of FIA plots were recorded, representing more than 10 years of observed growth. Total aboveground biomass and C were estimated using the FIA's component ratio method, which served as a field-based measure of forest biomass/C. After initial FIA measurements were forecasted with the species-specific d.b.h. increment equation from the appropriate FVS variant, biomass/C was calculated and compared with the field-based measure. Results found that d.b.h. increment was generally underpredicted across both regions, which resulted in deviations when comparing model- and field-based predictions of biomass. Generally, a 10 percent error in predicting d.b.h resulted in a 25 percent error in predicting total aboveground biomass and C. Assessing the amount of uncertainty as predictions from FVS are used by managers and researchers will continue to provide information for those attempting to quantify the intricate processes of forest C dynamics.

Keywords: statistics, estimation, sampling, modeling, remote sensing, forest health, data integrity, environmental monitoring, cover estimation, international forest monitoring

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Citation:


Russell, Matthew B.; Weiskittel, Aaron R.; D’Amato, Anthony W. 2012. Assessing the uncertainty of forest carbon estimates using the FVS family of diameter increment equations. In: Morin, Randall S.; Liknes, Greg C., comps. Moving from status to trends: Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) symposium 2012; 2012 December 4-6; Baltimore, MD. Gen. Tech. Rep. NRS-P-105. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station. [CD-ROM]: 378-382.

 


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