Relationship between Aboveground Biomass and Percent Cover of Ground Vegetation in Canadian Boreal Plain Riparian Forests
Abstract:Vegetation biomass is the ideal variable to estimate vegetation abundance and productivity and is necessary for studies of community structure. However, biomass data are difficult and destructive to collect, unlike areal cover data. To date, equations to predict biomass from percent cover have been developed for upland ground flora; however, these equations are lacking for riparian forests. We quantified relationships between aboveground biomass and percent cover of eight ground floristic growth forms (short forbs, tall forbs, ferns, clubmosses, horsetails, graminoids, dwarf shrubs, and bryoids) in riparian forests of the Canadian Boreal Plain and tested whether relationships differ for ground plants growing in two different successful stages (early and late). Without exception, linear relationships were identified with percent cover (P < 0.001) that explained 61‐93% of the variation in biomass. Slopes of these lines depended on growth form but not on successional stage. When direct biomass measurements are not appropriate or possible, the relationships presented can be used to rapidly and nondestructively estimate biomass in the Boreal Plain riparian forests.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: February 1, 2012
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