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Biomass Equations for Hardwood Resprouts in Fire-Maintained Pinelands in the Southeastern United States

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The ability to estimate plant biomass is important for a wide range of ecological and land-management applications. Species-specific allometric equations for estimating plant biomass still have not been established for hardwood seedling and sapling resprouts in southeastern US Coastal Plain upland pine forests managed with frequent fire. We developed equations to estimate leaf, woody, and total biomass from stem diameter at the base for plants with diameters ranging from 0.1 to 3.3 cm for 14 species of hardwoods commonly found in this forest type. Between 21 and 53 plants per species were measured, collected, and weighed to calculate best-fit regression equations. Fitness indices for equations predicting total biomass ranged from 0.80 to 0.96 among species and was 0.83 for all species combined. Equations were generally very similar among species. Equations were most similar among species that are relatively fire tolerant and typically occupy relatively xeric sites, which had lower levels of leaf and woody biomass per stem diameter at higher diameters. These equations provide reliable estimates of understory hardwood stem biomass for common species in Coastal Plain upland pine forests managed with prescribed burning.
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Keywords: allometry; biomass estimation; pine understory; prescribed fire; upland pine forest

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2009-08-01

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  • Each regional journal of applied forestry focuses on research, practice, and techniques targeted to foresters and allied professionals in specific regions of the United States and Canada. The Southern Journal of Applied Forestry covers an area from Virginia and Kentucky south to as far west as Oklahoma and east Texas.
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