Servicio de Información Comunitario sobre Investigación y Desarrollo - CORDIS

Error potentials and reliability of carbon stock and carbon stock changes based on the combined two-phase multi source carbon inventory

The carbon assessments on test areas were used to study the reliability of carbon figures. The estimated figures were subject to different sources of errors such as sampling errors, assessment errors, classification errors in remote sensing imagery and model errors. Different sources of errors were studied and their propagation to the total estimation error was quantified by means of an error budget. The error budgets present the contribution of each error source in terms of precision, accuracy and bias and allow ranking the components of carbon budgets according to their contribution to the total error.

The affect of individual components on the minimum reliable estimate of carbon storage was realised by the error budget. Generally the application of stratification using auxiliary data sources reduced the sampling error remarkably. The ranking identified a high influence of the uncertainty of soil carbon stock within the entire carbon sock estimates. The tree carbon stock estimates were proved to be highly accurate with the application of biomass functions if single tree data are available, while BEFs proved to be highly applicable for stand wise or aggregated forest information. Within the application of the bottom up approach the BEF turned out to be biased in young age classes. Local adaptation of BEF and biomass functions as well as carbon expansion factors is recommended. Further investigation is needed for the improvement of BEFs, biomass function.

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