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biomass model performance, Carpinus betulus, Castanea sativa, Fraxinus ornus, Quercus cerris, tree biomass
Background: Biomass assessment of young forest stands is important because of their role in the carbon cycling. The aim of this study was to develop biomass equations for young broadleaved species growing in natural conditions in Albania.
Methods: Five forest stands were investigated using circular sample plots. Diameter at breast height (DBH) and height (H) from 58 sampled trees ranging in age from 4 to 34 years old of Turkey oak (Quercus cerris L.), sweet chestnut (Castanea sativa Mill.), European hornbeam (Carpinus betulus L.) and manna ash (Fraxinus ornus L.) were measured in situ. Logarithmic regression equations were used and tested for their performance to estimate aboveground and tree-components biomass for each species using DBH, H and their combination DBH2 x H as predictors.
Results: We found that DBH was a reliable predictor for estimation of aboveground and components biomass for young trees but the inclusion of height in biomass allometry did not improve the biomass estimation. We observed differences in scale (β0) and exponent (β1) coefficients of biomass models, not only between broadleaved species, but also among tree-components within species. Both coefficients were strongly species-specific and their values reflect differences in biomass stocking rate due to different growth strategies of each species in early development phases.
Conclusions: Allometric equations to estimate aboveground and tree-component biomass appeared to be species-specific, meaning that such models are applicable for species growing at sites with similar ecological conditions. From the tree variables used, DBH was the most reliable predictor of aboveground and individual components biomass, whereas height proved to be a promising predictor for stand biomass. These allometric equations developed for young trees will improve the accuracy of current estimates of forest carbon stock in Albania.