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Estimating Aboveground Biomass for Broadleaf Woody Plants and Young Conifers in Sierra Nevada, California, Forests

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Quantification of biomass is fundamental to a wide range of research and natural resource management goals. An accurate estimation of plant biomass is essential to predict potential fire behavior, calculate carbon sequestration for global climate change research, assess critical wildlife habitat, and so forth. Reliable allometric equations from simple field measurements are necessary for efficient evaluation of plant biomass. However, allometric equations are not available for many common woody plant taxa in the Sierra Nevada. In this report, we present more than 200 regression equations for the Sierra Nevada western slope that relate crown diameter, plant height, crown volume, stem diameter, and both crown diameter and height to the dry weight of foliage, branches, and entire aboveground biomass. Destructive sampling methods resulted in regression equations that accurately predict biomass from one or two simple, nondestructive field measurements. The tables presented here will allow researchers and natural resource managers to easily choose the best equations to fit their biomass assessment needs.
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Keywords: biomass; conifer; foliage; regression; shrub

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2010-10-01

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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 Western Journal of Applied Forestry covers the western United States, including Alaska, and western Canada; WJAF will also consider manuscripts reporting research in northern Mexico that has potential application in the southwestern United States.
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