Annette Bellafiore - Forest Ecology Lab

University of Maryland, College Park, MD

To understand the process of carbon sequestration in forests more fully we need to learn how much carbon is captured and stored by a stand of trees. To learn this we first need to know the biomass of that stand, however this is a complicated measurement. By using an allometric equation we would like to be able to predict the biomass of a tree from its diameter and from there be able to calculate the biomass of the whole stand. Before this project can begin we needed to first determine if one allometric equation could be used to accurately estimate the relationship between tree diameter and biomass in a forest that is comprised of different aged stands. To accomplish this we looked at an easier relationship, tree height to tree diameter, by measuring trees in five stands that ranged in age from eleven to 300 years old. We found that one form of the equation Height=b(1-exp(-c*DBH)) would not work to accurately describe the relationship between height and diameter because young trees had a very different shape than older trees. From this study we expect to need to use different equations to describe the relationship between tree diameter and tree biomass.

Funding provided by National Science Foundation-REU