Biomass conversion and expansion factors in Douglas-fir stands of different planting density: variation according to individual growth and prediction equations
Aim of study: We built biomass expansion factors (BCEFs) from Douglas-fir felled trees planted with different planting densities to evaluate the differences according tree size and planting density.
Area of study: The Douglas-fir plantation under study is located on the northern coastal chain of Calabria (Tyrrhenian side) south Italy.
Materials and methods: We derived tree level BCEFs, relative to crown (BCEFc), to stem (BCEFst = basic density, BD) and total above-ground (BCEFt) from destructive measurements carried out in a Douglas-fir plantation where four study plots were selected according to different planting densities (from 833 to 2500 trees per hectare). The measured BCEFs were regressed against diameter at breast height and total height, planting density, site productivity (SP) and their interactions to test the variation of BCEFs. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) and the post hoc Tukey comparison test were used to test differences in BCEFt, BCEFc and in BD between plots with different planting density.
Main results: BCEFs decreased with increasing total height and DBH, but large dispersion measures were obtained for any of the compartments in the analysis. An increasing trend with planting density was found for all the analyzed BCEFs, but together with planting density, BCEFs also resulted dependent upon site productivity. BCEFt average values ranged between 1.40 Mg m-3 in planting density with 833 trees/ha (PD833) to 2.09 Mg m-3 in planting density with 2500 trees/ha (PD2500), which are in the range of IPCC prescribed values for Douglas-fir trees.
Research highlights: Our results showed that the application of BCEF to estimate forest biomass in stands with different planting densities should explicitly account for the effect of planting density and site productivity.
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