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Using the Forest Identity to grasp and comprehend the swelling mass of forest statistics

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Valued attributes of forests encourage surveys and inventories of multiple attributes that need quantitative definition and integration followed by comprehensible presentation. The Forest Identity defines the four attributes of expanse, growing stock, biomass and carbon in terms of measurable forest area (A), forest density (D), biomass to growing stock ratio (B), and carbon concentration (C). The Identity connects and integrates them all, logically. Nearly constant C and a B varying fairly regularly with D allow a single synoptic chart to present the four changing attributes in many regions, as examples around the world demonstrate. The Identity simply and transparently audits complex estimates of sequestered carbon. Sensing biomass remotely would transfer the uncertainty of the ratio B from carbon to growing stock inventories. In whatever manner variables are measured, the Identity integrates them into attributes and permits synoptic charts of masses of data.
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Keywords: Forest Identity; biomass; carbon; change and transition; growing stock

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, New Haven CT 06504, USA.

Publication date: December 1, 2008

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