Generalized biomass equations for Stone pine (Pinus pinea L.) across the Mediterranean basin

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Correia AC, Faias SP, Ruiz-Peinado R, Chianucci F, Cutini A, Fontes L, Manetti MC, Montero G, Soares P, Tomé M (2018) - Generalized biomass equations for Stone pine (Pinus pinea L.) across the Mediterranean basin - Forest Ecology and Management

Accurate estimates of tree biomass are strongly required for forest carbon budget estimates and to understand ecosystem dynamics for a sustainable management. Existing biomass equations for Mediterranean species are scarce, stand- and site-specific and therefore are not suitable for large scale application. In this study, biomass allometric equations were developed for stone pine (Pinus pinea L.), a Mediterranean tree species with relevant ecologic and economic interest. A dataset of 283 harvested trees was compiled with above- and belowground biomass from 16 sites in three countries (Italy, Spain, Portugal) representative of the species’ geographical Mediterranean distribution. A preliminary approach comparing the ordinary least squares method and the mixed model approach was performed in order to evaluate the most appropriate method for nested data in the absence of calibration data. To quantify the sources of error associated with applying biomass equations beyond the geographical range of the data used to develop them, a residual analysis was conducted. The allometric analysis showed low intra-specific variability in aboveground biomass relationships, which was relatively insensitive to the stand and site conditions. Significant differences were found for the crown components (needles and branches), which may be attributed to local geographical adaptation, site conditions and stand management. The root biomass was highly correlated with diameter at breast height irrespective of the geographical origin. Biased estimates were found when using site-specific equations outside the geographical range from where they were developed. The new biomass equations improved the accuracy of biomass estimates, particularly for the aboveground components of higher dimension trees and for the root component, being highly suitable for use in regional and national biomass forest calculations. It is, up to the present, the most complete database of harvested stone pine trees worldwide.

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