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Below-ground biomass is defined as the entire biomass of all live roots, although fine roots less than 2 mm in diameter are often excluded because these cannot easily be distinguished empirically from soil organic matter. Below-ground biomass is an important carbon pool for many vegetation types and land-use systems and accounts for about 20% (Santantonio et al. 1997) to 26% (Cairns et al. 1997) of the total biomass. Below-ground biomass accumulation is linked to the dynamics of above-ground biomass. The greatest proportion of root biomass occurs in the top 30 cm of the soil surface (Bohm 1979; Jackson et al. 1996). Revegetation of degraded land leads to continual accumulation of below-ground biomass whereas any disturbance to topsoil leads to loss of below-ground biomass.

Since below-ground biomass could account for 20– 26% of the total biomass, it is important to estimate this pool for most carbon mitigation as well as other landbased projects. Estimation of stock changes in below-ground biomass is also necessary for greenhouse gas inventory at national level for different land-use categories such as forest lands, cropland and grassland. This chapter presents methods of estimating and monitoring below-ground biomass.

Keywords

Root Biomass Allometric Equation Biomass Equation Carbon Mitigation Carbon Inventory 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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© Springer Science + Business Media B.V 2008

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