Canadian Forest Service Publications

Biomass from young hardwood stands on marginal lands: Allometric equations and sampling methods. 2017. Lupi, C.; Larocque, G.R.; DesRochers, A.; Labrecque, M.; Mosseler, A.; Major, J.; Beaulieu, J.; Tremblay, F.; Gordon, A.M.; Thomas, B.R.; Vézina, A.; Bouafif, H.; Cormier, D.; Sidders, D.; Krygier, R. Biomass Bioenergy 98: 172-181.

Year: 2017

Issued by: Laurentian Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 37811

Language: English

CFS Availability: PDF (request by e-mail)

Available from the Journal's Web site.
DOI: 10.1016/j.biombioe.2017.01.023

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Mark record


We developed allometric equations for small-diameter woody species growing on mixed forest marginal lands, which are potential sources of biomass for bioenergy. Eleven species of trees and shrubs were sampled from a site located in eastern Canada. Equations derived in this study generally performed better than equations from the literature. Also, fixed-area plots (FAP) and line-intersect sampling (LIS) methods using both random or systematic selection of sampling units were compared to determine which method required the lowest number of measurements to estimate stand biomass for the same precision.

The fixed-area plots method was successfully used to estimate relatively accurately oven-dry biomass per hectare. Results indicated that potentially harvestable woody biomass (oven dry basis) varied between 33-41 and 12-13 t ha-1 for the most and least productive marginal sites respectively. On the most productive site, LIS estimates (between 20 and 42 t ha-11) were usually lower than those obtained using different FAP sampling methods (i.e. systematic or random, small (50 m2) or large (100 m2) plots), but similar on the more open sites (between 10 and 14 t ha-1). Small FAP resulted in a plot without measurements in one case. Moreover, estimates based on small FAP were generally higher, even if not significantly different from larger plot estimates. We therefore suggest using FAP with 100 m2 plots to estimate small-diameter woody biomass on marginal lands with dense vegetation, while LIS, even if promising for open stands, needs further evaluation before recommendation.

Plain Language Summary

In this study, the researchers developed allometric equations (i.e., illustrating the relationships between the different parts of the tree) for small-diameter woody species growing in mixed forests on marginal lands. These species are potential sources of biomass for bioenergy. Overall, the equations derived from this study are more accurate than those that can be found in the literature.

Eleven species of trees and shrubs were sampled from a site in eastern Canada. Two types of sampling methods were compared in order to determine which type requires the least amount of measurements to provide the same level of precision for stand biomass estimates. The researchers suggest using plots with a fixed area of 100 m2 to estimate the biomass of small-diameter woody species on marginal lands with dense vegetation. Although linear plots seem promising in low-density stands, further assessments are required before they can be recommended.