Recommendations for the use of tree models to estimate national forest biomass and assess their uncertainty

Three options are proposed to improve the accuracy of national forest biomass estimates and decrease the uncertainty related to tree model selection depending on available data and national contexts.

Different tree volume and biomass equations result in different estimates. At national scale, differences of estimates can be important while they constitute the basis to guide policies and measures, particularly in the context of climate change mitigation. Few countries have developed national tree volume and biomass equation databases and have explored its potential to decrease uncertainty of volume and biomasttags estimates. With the launch of the GlobAllomeTree webplatform, most countries in the world could have access to country-specific databases. The aim of this article is to recommend approaches for assessing tree and forest volume and biomass at national level with the lowest uncertainty. The article highlights the crucial need to link allometric equation development with national forest inventory planning efforts. Models must represent the tree population considered. Data availability; technical, financial, and human capacities; and biophysical context, among other factors, will influence the calculation process. Three options are proposed to improve accuracy of national forest assessment depending on identified contexts. Further improvements could be obtained through improved forest stratification and additional non-destructive field campaigns.


Henry M, Cifuentes Jara M, Réjou-Méchain M, Piotto D, Michel Fuentes J, Wayson C, Alice Guier F, Castañeda Lombis H, Castellanos López E, Cuenca Lara R, Cueva Rojas K, Del Águila Pasquel J, Duque Montoya Á, Fernández Vega J, Jiménez Galo A, López O, Marklund L, Milla F, de Jesús Návar Cahidez J, Malavassi E, Pérez J, Ramírez Zea C, Rangel García L, Rubilar Pons R, Sanquetta C, Scott C, Westfall J, Zapata-Cuartas M, Saint-André L 2015. Recommendations for the use of tree models to estimate national forest biomass and assess their uncertainty. Ann. For. Sci.: 1-9. 10.1007/s13595-015-0465-x.

Link to the full paper.

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