Allometric equations for predicting above-ground biomass of selected woody species to estimate carbon in East African rangelands

Abstract

We developed species specific equations to predict aboveground biomass (AGB) of ten woody species in Borana rangelands of southern Ethiopia. A total of 150 plants 15 for each species were measured for biometric variables including the diameter at stump height (DSH), diameter at breast height (DBH), tree height (TH) and crown diameters were destructively harvested to obtain dry biomass. Many equations that related three biomass components: total aboveground, stem and branches to single or combination of predicator variables: DSH, DBH, TH, crown area (CA) and crown volume (CV) fit the data well to predict total AGB and by components for each of the species (adj.R2 > 0.80; P < 0.0001), but the form and variables comprising the best model varied among species. The total AGB of specifics (A. seyal, A. drepanolobium and A. etbaica and Lannea rivae) was significantly predicted from a combination of DSH, and CV and that of A.bussei species by the combination of DBH and CV, with a high adjusted coefficient of determination (adj.R2 > 0.80; P < 0.0001), whereas the combination of DBH and TH best predicted the total AGB and component biomass (stem and branch) of A. tortilis (umbrella canopy shape), with adj.R2 > 0.93; P < 0.0001. A generalized mixed-species allometric model developed from the pooled data of seven species was most accurately predicted by the combination of three predicators (DSH-TH-CA models), with adj. R2 between 0.84 and 0.90 for all AGB categories. Hence, our species-specific allometric models could be adopted for the indirect biomass estimation in semi-arid savanna ecosystem of southern Ethiopia. The mixed species allometric models will give a good opportunity when species-specific equations are not available and contribute to estimate the biomass and carbon stock in woody vegetations of East African rangelands.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5
Fig. 6
Fig. 7

References

  1. Abola JR, Arvalo JR, Fernandez A (2005) Allometric relationships of different tree species and stand above-ground biomass in the Gomera laurel forest (Canary Islands). Flora 200:64–274

    Google Scholar 

  2. Agrawal A, Nepstad D, Chhatre A (2011) Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation. Annu Rev Env Resour 36:373–396

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Alvarez E, Duque A, Saldarriaga J, Cabrera K, Salas GDL, Valle LD, Lema A, Moreno F, Orrego S, Rodriguez L (2012) Tree above-ground biomass allometries for carbon stocks estimation in the natural forests of Colombia. Forest Ecol Manag 267:297–308

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Angassa A, Oba G (2007) Relating long-term rainfall variability to cattle population dynamics in communal rangelands and a government ranch in southern Ethiopia. Agric Sys 94:715–725

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Angassa A, Oba G (2008) Effects of management and time on mechanisms of bush encroachment in southern Ethiopia. Afr J Ecol 46(2):186–196

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Angassa A, Oba G (2010) Effects of grazing pressure, age of enclosures and seasonality on bush cover dynamics and vegetation composition in southern Ethiopia. J Arid Env 74:111–120

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Archer SR, Predick KI (2014) An ecosystem services perspective on brush management: research priorities for competing land-use objectives. J Ecol 102:1394–1407. doi:10.1111/1365-2745.12314

    Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Archer S, Boutton TW, McMurtry C (2004) Carbon and nitrogen accumulation in a savanna landscape: field and modeling perspectives. Global environmental change in the ocean and on land. TerraPub, Tokyo 359–373

  9. Asner GP, Archer S, Hughes RF, Ansley RJ, Wessman CA (2003) Net changes in regional woody vegetation cover and carbon storage in Texas drylands, 1937-1999. Glob Chang Biol 9:316–335

    Article  Google Scholar 

  10. Van Auken OW (2009) Causes and consequences of woody plant encroachment into western North American grasslands. J Env Manag 90:2931–2942

    Article  Google Scholar 

  11. Bihamta MR, Zare Chahouki MA (2011) Principles of Statistics for the Natural Resources Science, 3rd edn. University of Tehran Press, Tehran

    Google Scholar 

  12. Brooks M, D’Antonio CM, Richardson DM, Grace JB, Keeley JE, Di Tomaso JM, Hobbs RJ, Pyke PMD (2004) Effects of invasive alien plants on fire regimes. Bioscience 54:677–688

    Article  Google Scholar 

  13. Brown S, Gillespie A, Lugo AE (1989) Biomass estimation methods for tropical forests with applications to forest inventory data. For Sci 35:881–902

    Google Scholar 

  14. Chamshama SAO, Mugasha AG, Zahabu E (2004) Stand biomass and volume estimation for miombo woodlands at Kitulangalo, Morogoro, Tanzania. South Afr For J 200:59–70

    Google Scholar 

  15. Chave J, Andalo C, Brown S et al (2005) Tree allometry and improved estimation carbon stocks and balance in tropical forests. Oecologia 145(1):78–99

    Article  Google Scholar 

  16. Chave J, Réjou-Méchain M, Búrquez A et al (2014) Improved pantropical allometric models to estimate the above ground biomass of tropical forests. Glob Chang Biol 20:3177–3190

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  17. Coetzee BWT, Tincani L, Wodu Z, Mwasi SM (2008) Overgrazing and bush encroachment by Tarchonanthus camphoratus in a semi-arid savanna. Afr J Ecol 46:449–451

    Article  Google Scholar 

  18. Cole TG, Ewel JJ (2006) Allometric equations for four valuable tropical tree species. For Ecol Manag 229:351–360

    Article  Google Scholar 

  19. Coppock DL (1994) The Borana plateau of southern Ethiopia: synthesis of pastoral research development and changes, 1980–91. ILCA (International Livestock Centre for Africa).Systems study 5.ILCA, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, pp 299

  20. Dalle D, Maass BL, Isseilstien J (2005) Plant communities and their species diversity in the semi arid rangelands of Borana lowlands, southern Oromia. Ethiop J Commun Ecol 6(2):167–176

    Article  Google Scholar 

  21. Dalle G, Maass BL, Isselstein J (2006) Encroachment of woody plants its impact on pastoral livestock production in the Borana lowlands, southern Oromia. Ethiop Afr J Ecol 44:113–299

    Article  Google Scholar 

  22. Dietz. J, Kuyah, S (2011) Allometric equation from distrucitve samping. Guidelines for establishing regressiona allometeric equation for biomass estimtion through distrucitve sampling. Protocol for CBP 1.3, ICRAF, pp 25

  23. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) (2006) Agriculture, forestry and other land use. In: Eggleston HS, Buendia L, Miwa K, Ngara T, Tanabe K (eds) IPCC Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories, Prepared by the National Greenhouse Gas Inventories Programme. IGES, Japan

    Google Scholar 

  24. Gibbs HK, Brown S, Niles JO, Foley JA (2007) Monitoring and estimating tropical forest carbon stocks: making REDD a reality. Env Res Lett 2:1–13

    Google Scholar 

  25. Gifford RM, Howden SM (2001) Vegetation thickening in an ecological perspective: significance to national greenhouse gas inventories and mitigation policies. Env Sci Policy 4:59–72

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  26. González-Roglich M, Swenson JJ, Jobbágy GE, Jackson BR (2014) Shifting carbon pools along a plant cover gradient in woody encroached savannas of central Argentina. For Ecol Manag 331:71–78

    Article  Google Scholar 

  27. Hasen-Yusuf M, Treydte AC, Abule E, Sauerborn J (2013) Predicting above-ground biomass of woody encroacher species in semi-arid Rangelands. Ethiop J Arid Env 96:64–72

    Article  Google Scholar 

  28. Henry M, Picard N, Trotta C, Manlay RJ, Valentini R, Bernoux M, SaintAndré L (2011) Estimating tree biomass of sub-Saharan African forests: a review of available allometric equations. Silv Fenn 459(3B):477–569

    Google Scholar 

  29. Howard KSC, Edridge DJ, Soliveres S (2012) Positive effects of shrubs on plant species diversity do not change along a gradient in grazing pressure arid shrubland. Basic Appl Ecol 13:159–168

    Article  Google Scholar 

  30. Hughes RF, Archer SR, Asner GP, Wessman CA, McMurtry C, Nelson J, Ansley RJ (2006) Changes in aboveground primary production and carbon and nitrogen pools accompanying woody plant encroachment in a temperate savanna. Glob Chang Biol 12:1733–1747

    Article  Google Scholar 

  31. Kennth PB, David RA (2002) Model selection and multimodel inference a practical information-theoretic approach, 2nd edn. Springer, New York

    Google Scholar 

  32. Kgosikoma OE, Harvie BA, Mojeremane W (2012) Bush encroachment in relation to rangeland management systems and environmental conditions in Kalahari ecosystem of Botswana. Afr J Agric Res 7(15):2312–2319

    Article  Google Scholar 

  33. Knapp AK, Briggs JM, Collins SL, Archer SR, Bret-Harte MS, Ewers BE, Peters DP, Young DR, Shaver GR, Pendall E, Cleary MB (2008) Shrub encroachment in North American grasslands: shifts in growth form dominance rapidly alters control of ecosystem carbon inputs. Glob Chang Biol 14:615–623

    Article  Google Scholar 

  34. Kuyah S, Dietz J, Muthuri C, Jamnadass R, Mwangi P (2012) Allometric equations for estimating biomass in agricultural landscapes:i above-ground biomass. Agric Ecosyst Env 158:216–224

    Article  Google Scholar 

  35. Kuyah S, Sileshi GW, Rosenstock TS (2016) Allometric models based on bayesian frameworks give better estimates of aboveground biomass in the miombo woodlands. Forests 7:13. doi:10.3390/f7020013

    Article  Google Scholar 

  36. Litton CM, Kauffman JB (2008) Allometric models for predicting above-ground biome two widespread woody plants in Hawaii. Biotropica 40:313–320

    Article  Google Scholar 

  37. Mascaro J, Litton CM, Hughes RF, Uowolo A, Schnitzer SA (2011) Minimizing bias in biomass allometry: model selection and log-transformation of data. Biotropica 43(6):649–653

    Article  Google Scholar 

  38. Megersa B, Markemann A, Angassa A, Ogutu JO, Piepho HP, Valle Zárate A (2014) Impacts of climate change and variability on cattle production in southern Ethiopia: perceptions and empirical evidences. Agri Syst 130:23–34

    Article  Google Scholar 

  39. Northup BK, Zitzer SF, Archer S, McMurtry CR, Boutton TW (2005) Aboveground biomass and carbon and nitrogen content of woody species in a subtropicala thorn scrub parkland. J Arid Env 62:23–43

    Article  Google Scholar 

  40. N’avar J, Gonzalez N, Maldonado D, Graciano J, Dale V, Parresol B (2004) Biomass equations for shrub species of Tamaulipan thornscrub of North-eastern Mexico. J Arid Env 59:657–674

    Article  Google Scholar 

  41. Oba G, Kotile DG (2001) Assessments of landscape level degradation in southern Ethiopia: pastoralists versus ecologists. Land Degrad Dev 12:461–475

    Article  Google Scholar 

  42. Oba G, Post E, Syvertsen PO, Stenseth NC (2000) Bush cover and range condition assessments in relation to landscape and grazing in southern Ethiopia. Landsc Ecol 15:535–546

    Article  Google Scholar 

  43. Oba G (1998) Assessment of indigenous range management knowledge of the Borana pastoralists of southern Ethiopia. Part I GTZ/Borana Lowland Pastoral Development Program, pp 98

  44. Okello BD, O’connor TG, Young TP (2001) Growth, biomass estimates, and charcoal production of Acacia drepanolobium in Laikipia. Kenya For Ecol Manag 142:143–153

    Article  Google Scholar 

  45. Oldeland J, Dorigo W, Wesuls D, Jü N (2010) Mapping bush encroaching species by seasonal differences in hyperspectral imagery. Remote Sens. doi:10.3390/rs2061416

    Article  Google Scholar 

  46. Overman JPM, Witte HJL, Saldarriaga JG (1994) Evaluation of regression models for above ground biomass determination in Amazon rainforest. J Trop Ecol 10:207–218

    Article  Google Scholar 

  47. Roques KG, O’Connor TG, Watkinson AR (2001) Dynamics of shrub encroachment in an African savanna: relative influences of fire, herbivory, rainfall and density dependence. J Appl Ecol 38:268–280

    Article  Google Scholar 

  48. SAS (Statistical Analysis System) (2012) SAS Institute Inc., Cary, NC, USA JMP Design of Experiment, Version 9.3

  49. Sawadogo L, Savadogo P, Tiveau D, Dayamba SD, Zida D, Nouvellet Y, Oden PC, Guinko S (2010) Allométrique prediction of above -ground biomass of eleven woody tree species in the Sudanian savanna-woodland of West Africa. J For Res 21:475–481

    Article  Google Scholar 

  50. Segura M, Kanninen M (2005) Allometric models for tree volume and total aboveground biomass in a tropical humid forest in Costa Rica. Biotropica 37(1):2–8

    Article  Google Scholar 

  51. Solomon TB, Snyman HA, Smit GN (2007) Assessment of woody vegetation structure in relation to land use and distance from water in semi-arid Borana rangelands. J Env Manag 85:443–452

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  52. Sundarapandian SM, AmrithaS Gowsalya L, KayathriP Thamizharasi M, Javid Ahmad D, Srinivas K, Sanjay Gandhi D (2013) Estimation of biomass and carbon stock of woody plants in different land-uses. For Res 3:115. doi:10.4172/2168-9776.1000115

    Article  Google Scholar 

  53. Thorne SM, Skinner DQ, Smith MA, Rodgers JD, William A, Cerekci AS (2002) Evaluation of a technique for measuring canopy volume of shrubs. J Range Manag 55:235–241

    Article  Google Scholar 

  54. Throop HL, Reichmann LG, SalaOE Archer S R (2012) Response of dominant grass and shrub species to water manipulation: an eco-physiological basis for shrub invasion in a Chihuahuan Desert Grassland. Oecologia 169:373–383

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  55. Tietema T (1993) Biomass determination of fuelwood trees and Bushes of Botswana. S Afr For Ecol Manag 60:257–269

    Article  Google Scholar 

  56. Vahedi AA, Mataji A, Hodjati SM, Djomo A (2014) Allometric equations for predicting aboveground biomass of beech-hornbeam stands in the Hyrcanian forests of Iran. J For Sci 60(6):236–247

    Article  Google Scholar 

  57. Vashum KT, Jayakumar S (2012) Methods to estimate above-ground biomass and carbon stock in natural forests – a review. J Ecosyst Ecogr . doi:10.4172/2157-7625.1000116

    Article  Google Scholar 

  58. Wigley BJ, Bond WJ, Hoffman MT (2010) Thicket expansion in a South African savanna under divergent land use: local versus global drivers? Glob Chang Biol 16:964–976

    Article  Google Scholar 

  59. Xiao CW, Ceulemans R (2004) Allometric relationships for below- and aboveground biomass of young Scots pine. For Ecol Manag 203:177–186

    Article  Google Scholar 

  60. Yen TM, Lee JS (2011) Comparing aboveground carbon sequestration between moso bamboo (Phyllostachys heterocycla) and China fir (Cunningham lanceolata) forests based on the allometric model. For Ecol Manag 261:995–1002

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgments

We would like to acknowledge funding from BMZ project (Livelihood diversifying potential of livestock based carbon sequestration options in pastoral and agro-pastoral systems in Africa) to International Livestock Research Institute and Hawassa University. We also thank the Oromia Pastoral Area Development Commission and Yabello Dryland and Agricultural Research Center for logistic support during field work.

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Ayana Angassa.

Appendix

Appendix

See Tables 1, 2, 3 and 4.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Feyisa, K., Beyene, S., Megersa, B. et al. Allometric equations for predicting above-ground biomass of selected woody species to estimate carbon in East African rangelands. Agroforest Syst 92, 599–621 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10457-016-9997-9

Download citation

Keywords

  • Borana
  • Biomass
  • Carbon stock
  • Acacia species
  • Regression models