A simple method for leaf and branch biomass estimation in Japanese cedar plantations
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Leaf and branch biomass in middle-aged Japanese cedar plantations can be accurately estimated using a simple method based on the pipe model theory.
A simple method for estimating leaf and branch biomass is needed to properly manage forests of Japanese cedar, a major timber species in Japan. We developed a simple method, based on the pipe model theory, in which leaf biomass was estimated from tree height, height at the crown base, and stem area at breast height. The applicability of the method was examined in Japanese cedar plantations along a topographic gradient in five areas. In middle-aged forests (< 60 years old) in four areas, the leaf and branch biomass per unit stem area at the crown base did not differ between forests of different topographic position within the area. In contrast, the leaf and branch biomass per unit stem area at the crown base differed between the four areas. In old forests (> 80 years) in Chiba, leaf biomass per unit stem area at the crown base differed between six forests and was lower in larger trees within a particular forest. We conclude that the method investigated herein is applicable to middle-aged forests, but it needs to be modified for application to old forests.
KeywordsEvergreen conifer Forest age Leaf biomass Pipe model theory Topography
This work was partly funded by JSPS KAKENHI Grant (nos. 25450224, 26450193, 17K07840).
YI, AN, and TT designed the study, collected data, and conducted the statistical analyses. YI and AN conducted the field investigations. YI wrote the paper; all authors have reviewed and revised the manuscript.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interests.
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