The Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) program conducted a systematic inventory of the forests of Palau in 2003 to estimate forest area, tree stem volume, biomass, carbon storage, tree damages, and the percentage cover of understory vegetation species. Fifty-four permanent field plots were installed, 11 in limestone forest and 43 in volcanic forest. Our estimates for this inventory are derived from a sample based on 110,028 acres in Palau, with about 16 percent of the land classified as limestone forest and 67 percent classified as volcanic forest.

  • About 2 percent of the landscape was classified as urban land, the majority on Koror and Babeldaob.
  • Gross tree stem volume was 302 million cubic feet for all size classes including seedlings and saplings.
  • Aboveground dry biomass for tree stems 5 inches and greater was estimated to be 4.7 million tons.
  • Approximately 13 percent of the trees sampled in the inventory had some form of damage.
    • The growth of damaging vines in the crowns of trees was the most prevalent damage type, with conks and lost apical dominance following in prevalence.
    • The most frequently identified damaging agents were other vegetation, disease, and weather.
  • Palau’s forests are relatively dense and have high species diversity.
    • A total of 128 tree species and 132 understory species were measured on FIA plots.
    • The average number of tree species per sixth-acre plot was 12 in volcanic forest and 10 in limestone forest.

Map of the Palau