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Above- and belowground biomass measurements in an unthinned stand of Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis (Bong) Carr.)



Above- and belowground biomass measurements in an unthinned stand of Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis (Bong) Carr.)



European Journal of Forest Research 126(2): 179-188



Reporting carbon (C) stocks in tree biomass (above- and belowground) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) should be transparent and verifiable. The development of nationally specific data is considered 'good practice' to assist in meeting these reporting requirements. From this study, biomass functions were developed for estimating above- and belowground C stock in a 19-year-old stand of Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis (Bong) Carr.). Our estimates were then tested against current default values used for reporting in Ireland and literature equations. Ten trees were destructively sampled to develop aboveground and tree component biomass equations. The roots were excavated and a root:shoot (R) ratio developed to estimate belowground biomass. Application of the total aboveground biomass function yielded a C stock estimate for the stand of 74 tonnes C ha- superscript 1(B, with an uncertainty of 7%. The R ratio was determined to be 0.23, with an uncertainty of 10%. The C stock estimate of the belowground biomass component was then calculated to be 17 tonnes C ha- superscript 1(B, with an uncertainty of 12%. The equivalent C stock estimate from the biomass expansion factor (BEF) method, applying Ireland's currently reported default values for BEF (inclusive of belowground biomass), wood density and C concentration and methods for estimating volume, was found to be 60 tonnes C ha- superscript 1(B, with an uncertainty of 26%. We found that volume tables, currently used for determining merchantable timber volume in Irish forestry conditions, underestimated volume since they did not extend to the yield of the forest under investigation. Mean stock values for belowground biomass compared well with that generated using published models.

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Accession: 013048327

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DOI: 10.1007/s10342-005-0093-3



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