Estimating Aboveground Carbon in Live and Standing Dead Trees

  • Peter S. Curtis


Carbon contained in aboveground live and standing dead tree mass can represent less than 1% to over 60% of the total forest ecosystem carbon pool. Accurate assessment of this pool is important for many forest managers and ecologists. Aboveground tree mass is estimated using published allometric equations relating diameter at breast height to total tree mass or component parts of bole wood, bark, branch, and foliage mass. Care must be taken in selecting appropriate allometric equations, considering the range of tree sizes to be measured, and applying logarithmic regression correction factors. Substantial error in tree carbon mass estimation can result if allometric equations are used inappropriately. Standing dead tree mass is estimated using live tree allometric relationships if the tree is recently dead and intact or from stem volume estimation and measurements of wood density if the crown is broken. Field measurement guidelines, sample calculations, and special considerations for irregular stem configurations are presented.


Allometry logarithmic regression snag 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media B.V 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Evolution, Ecology and Organismal BiologyThe Ohio State UniversityColumbus

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