We produced a map of the biomass density and pools, at the county scale of resolution, of all forests of the eastern US using new approaches for converting inventoried wood volume to estimates of above and belowground biomass. Maps provide a visual representation of the pattern of forest biomass densities and pools over space that are useful for forest managers and decision makers, and as databases for verification of vegetation models. We estimated biomass density and pools at the county level from the USDA Forest Service, Forest Inventory and Analysis database on growing stock volume by forest type and stand size-class, and mapped the results in a geographic information system. We converted stand volume to aboveground biomass with regression equations for biomass expansion factors (BEF; ratio of aboveground biomass density of all living trees to merchantable volume) versus stand volume. Belowground biomass was estimated as a function of aboveground biomass with regression equations. Total biomass density for hardwood forests ranged from 36 to 344 Mg ha −1 , with an area-weighted mean of 159 Mg ha −1 . About 50% of all counties had hardwood forests with biomass densities between 125 and 175 Mg ha −1 . For softwood forests, biomass density ranged from 2 to 346 Mg ha −1 , with an area-weighted mean of 110 Mg ha −1 . Biomass densities were generally lower for softwoods than for hardwoods; ca. 40% of all counties had softwood forests with biomass densities between 75 and 125 Mg ha −1 . Highest amounts of forest biomass were located in the Northern Lake states, mountain areas of the Mid-Atlantic states, and parts of New England, and lowest amounts in the Midwest states. The total biomass for all eastern forests for the late 1980s was estimated at 20.5 Pg, 80% of which was in hardwood forests.
Forest Ecology and Management – Elsevier
Published: Oct 11, 1999
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