NE - RWU 4104

Last modified 11/15/2005

Smith, James E., Linda S. Heath, Jennifer C. Jenkins. 2003.

Forest Volume-to-Biomass Models and Estimates of Mass for Live and Standing Dead Trees of U.S. Forests.

Research Paper NE-298. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northeastern Research Station, Newtown Square, PA.


We present methods and equations for nationally consistent estimates of tree-mass density at the stand level (Mg/ha) as predicted by growing-stock volumes reported in USDA Forest Service surveys for forests of the conterminous United States. Developed for use in FORCARB, a carbon budget model for U.S. forests, the equations also are useful for converting stand-, plot-, and regional-level forest merchantable volumes to estimates of total mass. Tree biomass is about 50 percent carbon, so carbon estimates can be derived from estimates of biomass by multiplying by 0.5. We include separate equations for live and standing dead trees. Similarly, separate equations predict the components of aboveground only vs. full trees (including coarse roots) and hardwood vs. softwood species. Equations are developed for broad forest types by region and are applicable to large-scale forest-inventory data. Example estimates are provided for regional tree-mass totals using summary forest statistics for the United States.

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