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Development and testing of allometric equations for estimating above-ground biomass of mixed-species environmental plantings

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Paul, K. I., Roxburgh, S. H., England, J. R., Ritson, P., Hobbs, T., Brooksbank, K., John Raison, R., Larmour, J. S., Murphy, S., Norris, J., Neumann, C., Lewis, T., Jonson, J., Carter, J. L., McArthur, G., Barton, C. and Rose, B. (2013) Development and testing of allometric equations for estimating above-ground biomass of mixed-species environmental plantings. Forest Ecology and Management, 310 . pp. 483-494. ISSN 03781127 (ISSN)

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Article Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.foreco.2013.08.054


To quantify the impact that planting indigenous trees and shrubs in mixed communities (environmental plantings) have on net sequestration of carbon and other environmental or commercial benefits, precise and non-biased estimates of biomass are required. Because these plantings consist of several species, estimation of their biomass through allometric relationships is a challenging task. We explored methods to accurately estimate biomass through harvesting 3139 trees and shrubs from 22 plantings, and collating similar datasets from earlier studies, in non-arid (>300mm rainfallyear-1) regions of southern and eastern Australia. Site-and-species specific allometric equations were developed, as were three types of generalised, multi-site, allometric equations based on categories of species and growth-habits: (i) species-specific, (ii) genus and growth-habit, and (iii) universal growth-habit irrespective of genus. Biomass was measured at plot level at eight contrasting sites to test the accuracy of prediction of tonnes dry matter of above-ground biomass per hectare using different classes of allometric equations. A finer-scale analysis tested performance of these at an individual-tree level across a wider range of sites. Although the percentage error in prediction could be high at a given site (up to 45%), it was relatively low (<11%) when generalised allometry-predictions of biomass was used to make regional- or estate-level estimates across a range of sites. Precision, and thus accuracy, increased slightly with the level of specificity of allometry. Inclusion of site-specific factors in generic equations increased efficiency of prediction of above-ground biomass by as much as 8%. Site-and-species-specific equations are the most accurate for site-based predictions. Generic allometric equations developed here, particularly the generic species-specific equations, can be confidently applied to provide regional- or estate-level estimates of above-ground biomass and carbon. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.

Item Type:Article
Business groups:Horticulture and Forestry Science
Keywords:Aboveground biomass Allometry Biodiversity plantings Carbon Destructive sampling Generalised equations Above ground biomass Plantings Biodiversity Biomass Estimation Forecasting Forestry Ecology accuracy assessment carbon sequestration data set dry matter mixed forest plantation forestry precision shrub Forecasts Planting Sampling Australia
Subjects:Forestry > Research. Experimentation
Agriculture > Agriculture (General) > Agriculture and the environment
Forestry > Exploitation and utilization
Live Archive:17 Jul 2014 01:35
Last Modified:15 Nov 2022 04:00

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