Consistent set of additive biomass functions for eight tree species in Germany fit by nonlinear seemingly unrelated regression

Biomass functions are relevant for an easy and quick estimation of tree biomass. Nevertheless, additive biomass functions for different species and different components have not been published for the area of Germany, yet. Now, we present a set of additive biomass functions for estimating component and total mass for eight species and up to nine components.

Context Biomass functions are relevant for an easy and quick estimation of tree biomass, e.g. for carbon budget calculation. Component-specific functions offer even more detail and can be used to answer questions about, e.g., biomass allocation to different components, (nutrient) element stock and flows or the amount and re-distribution of harvested biomass and its consequences.
Aims Since there exists no published additive biomass functions in the context of Germany, we aimed at providing such equations for different species and different components using a comprehensive data set from different sources.
Methods We collected several data sets for eight relevant tree species (Norway spruce, n = 1150 trees; Silver fir, n = 31; Douglas fir, n = 161; Scots pine, n = 460; European beech, n = 918; Oak, n = 313; Sycamore, n = 28 and European ash, n = 37) in Germany and adjacent countries, homogenised the component information, imputed missing values and applied nonlinear seemingly unrelated regression to eight (for deciduous trees species) respectively nine (for conifereous species) components simultaneously.
Results The collected data set contains trees from 7 cm diameter in breast height to around 80 cm. From this broad data basis, we established two sets of additive biomass functions: a simple model using the predictors diameter in breast height and tree height as well as a more elaborate model using up to six predictors.
Conclusion Finally, we can present additive models for the eight relevant tree species in Germany. Models for Silver fir, European ash and Sycamore are rather limited in their model range due to their input data; the other models are based on a broad range of predictors and are considered to be broadly applicable.

Biomass allocation, Component mass, Multiple imputation, SUR regression, Norway spruce, Scots pine, Douglas fir, European beech, Oak

Vonderach, C., Kändler, G. & Dormann, C. Annals of Forest Science (2018) 75: 49.

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