Servicio de Información Comunitario sobre Investigación y Desarrollo - CORDIS

BEF's and biomass equations in Mediterranean tree species

Forests inventories provide useful data for the estimation of carbon stocks in forests, but this information does not cover all budgets necessary for a global carbon assessment. Nevertheless, some forest inventories offer detailed information of the aboveground carbon that may provide good tools for some of such estimations. The Ecological Forest Inventory of Catalonia (IEFC), which is an extensive database, offers such potential application. In this part of the project the main variables involved in the calculation of aboveground biomass expansion factors (ABEF), i.e. the ratio between the aboveground biomass and the stem volume, at stand level for the main forest tree species occurring in Catalonia (NE Spain) and the biomass equations are analysed.

The IEFC forest inventory data set is based on 10644 plots where dasometric and dendrometric measurements were carried out. The main results that arise from this analysis are:
1.ABEF values significantly differ between species.
2. Wood density is an important variable to explain differences between species.
3 Differences in the total branch biomass also contribute on these species differences.
4. ABEF values are also influenced by mean stem diameter of the species present in the area; the tendency is that species diminishes their ABEF value as their mean stem diameter value increases.
5. Stem wood production of the species inversely relates to their ABEF values, thus fast-growing species show the lower values and
6. Carbon content shows small variability between species, given a tree component (leaves, bark or wood).

Values of ABEF varies from 1.28 (Quercus ilex) to 0.44 (Pinus radiata) Mg m-3 and branches biomass expansion factors varies from 0.42 (Q. ilex) to 0.04 (P. radiata) Mg m-3. Wood density varies from 0.90 (Q. ilex) to 0.43 (Populus nigra) Mg m-3. Wood carbon content varies from 47.2 (Quercus suber) to 51.1 (Pinus pinaster) % of dry weight. It is concluded that is very essential to differentiate between species in the carbon accounting by using biomass expansion factors.

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Reported by

Center for Ecological Research and Forestry Applications
Univ. Autonoma de Barcelona - Edifici C
08193 Bellaterra, Barcelona
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