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Individual Highlight

Equations Used to Estimate Regional Tree Biomass and Carbon can be Improved

Photo of Field crew measure trees at H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest. USDA Forest ServiceField crew measure trees at H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest. USDA Forest ServiceSnapshot : Developing nationally consistent methods for defining, measuring, and calculating biomass components will improve the reliability and application of biomass and carbon estimation. Sampling trees across the full range of forest conditions is also important. Forest Service researchers recommend collecting new data that merges tree taper and biomass sampling and includes estimates of root biomass.

Principal Investigators(s) :
Gray, Andrew 
Research Location : National
Research Station : Pacific Northwest Research Station (PNW)
Year : 2015
Highlight ID : 791


Accurate biomass measurements and analyses are critical components in quantifying carbon stocks and sequestration rates, assessing potential impacts due to climate change, locating bioenergy processing plants, and mapping and planning fuel treatments. To this end, biomass equations will remain a key component of future carbon measurements and estimation. Researchers reviewed the present scenario of aboveground biomass estimation, focusing particularly on estimation using tree-level models. They identified opportunities to improve the accuracy of biomass and carbon estimates; for example, integrating taper and other attributes and combining different data sources to improve the accuracy of the estimates. Making use of already available resources such as wood density and forest inventory databases is one option.

Forest Service Partners

External Partners

  • Oregon State University, University of Montana