Re-evaluation of individual diameter: height allometric models to improve biomass estimation of tropical trees

Ledo, A., Cornulier, T., Illian, J. B. , Iida, Y., Kassim, A. R. and Burslem, D. F. R. P. (2016) Re-evaluation of individual diameter: height allometric models to improve biomass estimation of tropical trees. Ecological Applications, 26(8), pp. 2376-2382. (doi:10.1002/eap.1450)

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Abstract

Accurate estimation of tree biomass is necessary to provide realistic values of the carbon stored in the terrestrial biosphere. A recognized source of errors in tree aboveground biomass (AGB) estimation is introduced when individual tree height values (H) are not directly measured but estimated from diameter at breast height (DBH) using allometric equations. In this paper, we evaluate the performance of 12 alternative DBH : H equations and compare their effects on AGB estimation for three tropical forests that occur in contrasting climatic and altitudinal zones. We found that fitting a three‐parameter Weibull function using data collected locally generated the lowest errors and bias in H estimation, and that equations fitted to these data were more accurate than equations with parameters derived from the literature. For computing AGB, the introduced error values differed notably among DBH : H allometric equations, and in most cases showed a clear bias that resulted in either over‐ or under‐estimation of AGB. Fitting the three‐parameter Weibull function minimized errors in AGB estimates in our study and we recommend its widespread adoption for carbon stock estimation. We conclude that many previous studies are likely to present biased estimates of AGB due to the method of H estimation.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Illian, Professor Janine
Authors: Ledo, A., Cornulier, T., Illian, J. B., Iida, Y., Kassim, A. R., and Burslem, D. F. R. P.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Mathematics and Statistics > Statistics
Journal Name:Ecological Applications
Publisher:Wiley
ISSN:1051-0761
ISSN (Online):1939-5582
Published Online:19 October 2016

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