Allometric equations for estimating the above ground biomass in tropical lowland dipterocarp forests

T.M. Basuki, P.E. van Laake, A.K. Skidmore, Y.A. Hussin

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Allometric equations can be used to estimate the biomass and carbon stock of forests. However, so far the equations for Dipterocarp forests have not been developed in sufficient detail. In this research, allometric equations are presented based on the genera of commercial species and mixed species. Separate equations are developed for the Dipterocarpus, Hopea, Palaquium and Shorea genera, and an equation of a mix of these genera represents commercial species. The mixed species is constructed from commercial and non-commercial species. The data were collected in lowland mixed Dipterocarp forests in East Kalimantan, Indonesia. The number of trees sampled in this research was 122, with diameters (1.30 m or above buttresses) ranging from 6 to 200 cm. Destructive sampling was used to collect the samples where diameter at breast height (DBH), commercial bole height (CBH), and wood density were used as predictors for dry weight of total above-ground biomass (TAGB). Model comparison and selection were based on Akaike Information Criterion (AIC), slope coefficient of the regression, average deviation, confidence interval (CI) of the mean, paired t-test. Based on these statistical indicators, the most suitable model is ln(TAGB) = c + αln(DBH). This model uses only a single predictor of DBH and produces a range of prediction values closer to the upper and lower limits of the observed mean. Model 1 is reliable for forest managers to estimate above-ground biomass, so the research findings can be extrapolated for managing forests related to carbon balance. Additional explanatory variables such as CBH do not really increase the indicators’ goodness of fit for the equation. An alternative model to incorporate wood density must be considered for estimating the above-ground biomass for mixed species. Comparing the presented equations to previously published data shows that these local species-specific and generic equations differ substantially from previously published equations and that site specific equations must be considered to get a better estimation of biomass. Based on the average deviation and the range of CI, the generalized equations are not sufficient to estimate the biomass for a certain type of forests, such as lowland Dipterocarp forests. The research findings are new for Dipterocarp forests, so they complement the previous research as well as the methodology of the Good Practice Guidance for Land Use and Land Use Change and Forestry (GPG-LULUCF).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1684-1694
JournalForest ecology and management
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • NRS
  • ADLIB-ART-2780
  • 2023 OA procedure


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