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US Forest Service Research & Development
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  • US Forest Service Research & Development
  • 1400 Independence Ave., SW
  • Washington, D.C. 20250-0003
  • 800-832-1355
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Research Highlights

Individual Highlight

New Tree Volume and Biomass Estimation Procedures Implemented for the Yearly U.S. National Greenhouse Gas Inventory

Mean difference in tree-level carbon stocks between the Component Ratio Method and Jenkins' approach for tree species in the conterminous U.S. Forest ServiceSnapshot : New procedures have improved the accuracy, reliability, and transparency of the U.S. National Greenhouse Gas Inventory of U.S. forests and biomass assessments

Principal Investigators(s) :
Christopher W. Woodall 
Research Station : Northern Research Station (NRS)
Year : 2012
Highlight ID : 38

Summary

Nationally consistent and documented procedures for estimating forest volume and biomass are central to bioenergy assessments and the yearly U.S. National Greenhouse Gas Inventory developed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The Carbon/Timber Product Group of the Forest Service's Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) program documented a national approach to tree volume and biomass estimation (Component Ratio Method), evaluated its output in comparison to past methods, and implemented it in the 2012 inventory.

Overall, the national evaluation and reporting of standing tree biomass-carbon attributes have been standardized across reporting outlets, such as the EPA, and tools, such as the FIA online data tools. This standardization has improved the accuracy, reliability, and transparency of the yearly inventory of U.S. forests and biomass assessments. The result was achieved by bringing the most recent science and data to bear on each of the standing tree carbon values reported in the inventory.