Advancing individual tree biomass prediction: assessment and alternatives to the component ratio methodThis article is part of a larger document. View the larger document here.
Prediction of forest biomass and carbon is becoming important issues in the United States. However, estimating forest biomass and carbon is difficult and relies on empirically-derived regression equations. Based on recent findings from a national gap analysis and comprehensive assessment of the USDA Forest Service Forest Inventory and Analysis (USFS-FIA) component ratio method (CRM) for estimating both biomass and carbon using historical individual tree biomass data, alternative approaches for predicting forest biomass and carbon were evaluated. The different CRM approaches tested included: 1) development and use of a unified stem taper equation to estimate stem volume; 2) updated model forms and parameters for predicting biomass components; and 3) comparison of alternative wood density values. Overall, these modifications show the potential to improve estimates of forest biomass and carbon, but additional testing is required before implementation.