Allometric equations for shrubs and short-stature tree aboveground biomass within boreal ecosystems of northwestern Canada

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Flade, Linda
Hopkinson, Christopher
Chasmer, Laura
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Aboveground biomass (AGB) of short-stature shrubs and trees contain a substantial part of the total carbon pool within boreal ecosystems. These ecosystems, however, are changing rapidly due to climate-mediated atmospheric changes, with overall observed decline in woody plant AGB in boreal northwestern Canada. Allometric equations provide a means to quantify woody plant AGB and are useful to understand aboveground carbon stocks as well as changes through time in unmanaged boreal ecosystems. In this paper, we provide allometric equations, regression coefficients, and error statistics to quantify total AGB of shrubs and short-stature trees. We provide species- and genus-specific as well as multispecies allometric models for shrub and tree species commonly found in northwestern boreal forest and peatland ecosystems. We found that the three-dimensional field variable (volume) provided the most accurate prediction of shrub multispecies AGB (R2 = 0.79, p < 0.001), as opposed to the commonly used one-dimensional variable (basal diameter) measured on the longest and thickest stem (R2 = 0.23, p < 0.001). Short-stature tree AGB was most accurately predicted by stem diameter measured at 0.3 m along the stem length (R2 = 0.99, p < 0.001) rather than stem length (R2 = 0.29, p < 0.001). Via the two-dimensional variable cross-sectional area, small-stature shrub AGB was combined with small-stature tree AGB within one single allometric model (R2 = 0.78, p < 0.001). The AGB models provided in this paper will improve our understanding of shrub and tree AGB within rapidly changing boreal environments.
Open access article. Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International LIcense (CC BY 4.0) applies
Shrub biomass , Tree biomass , Climate change , Northern ecosystems , Ecosystem change , Discontinuous permafrost , Sporadic permafrost , Forest , Peatland , Boreal ecosystems , Short-stature trees
Flade, L., Hopkinson, C., & Chasmer, L. (2020). Allometric equations for shrub and short-stature tree aboveground biomass within boreal ecosystems of northwestern Canada. Forests, 11(11),Article 1207.