Biomass conversion and expansion factors are afected by thinning

Teresa Duque Enes, Teresa Fidalgo Fonseca


Aim of the study: The objective of this paper is to investigate the use of Biomass Conversion and Expansion Factors (BCEFs) in maritime pine (Pinus pinaster Ait.) stands subjected to thinning.

Area of the study: The study area refers to different ecosystems of maritime pine stands inNorthern Portugal.

Material and methods: The study is supported by time data series and cross sectional data collected in permanent plots established in the North of Portugal. An assessment of BCEF values for the aboveground compartments and for total was completed for each studied stand. Identification of key variables affecting the value of the BCEFs in time and with thinning was conducted using correlation analysis. Predictive models for estimation of the BCEFs values in time and after thinning were developed using nonlinear regression analysis.

Research highlights: For periods of undisturbed growth, the results show an allometric relationship between the BCEFs, the dominant height and the mean diameter. Management practices such as thinning also influence the factors. Estimates of the ratio change before and after thinning depend on thinning severity and thinning type. The developed models allow estimating the biomass of the stands, for the aboveground compartments and for total, based on information of stand characteristics and of thinning descriptors. These estimates can be used to assess the forest dry wood stocks to be used for pulp, bioenergy or other purposes, as well as the biomass quantification to support the evaluation of the net primary productivity.

Keywords: carbon; softwood; thinning; volume; wood energy; maritime pine.

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DOI: 10.5424/fs/2014233-05128