Belowground biomass functions and expansion factors in high elevation Norway spruce
Konopka, B., Pajtik, J., Seben, V. and Lukac, M. (2011) Belowground biomass functions and expansion factors in high elevation Norway spruce. Forestry, 84 (1). pp. 41-48. ISSN 0015-752X
To link to this article DOI: 10.1093/forestry/cpq042
Biomass allocation to above- and belowground compartments in trees is thought to be affected by growth conditions. To assess the strength of such influences, we sampled six Norway spruce forest stands growing at higher altitudes. Within these stands, we randomly selected a total of 77 Norway spruce trees and measured volume and biomass of stem, above- and belowground stump and all roots over 0.5 cm diameter. A comparison of our observations with models parameterised for lower altitudes shows that models developed for specific conditions may be applicable to other locations. Using our observations, we developed biomass functions (BF) and biomass conversion and expansion factors (BCEF) linking belowground biomass to stem parameters. While both BF and BCEF are accurate in belowground biomass predictions, using BCEF appears more promising as such factors can be readily used with existing forest inventory data to obtain estimates of belowground biomass stock. As an example, we show how BF and BCEF developed for individual trees can be used to estimate belowground biomass at the stand level. In combination with existing aboveground models, our observations can be used to quantify total standing biomass of high altitude Norway spruce stands.