Journal of Arid Land

Article Title

Allometric biomass equations of Larix sibirica in the Altay Mountains, Northwest China


Boreal forests are important carbon sinks and have tremendous potential to mitigate climate change. Aboveground biomass of Siberian larch (Larix sibirica Ledeb.) stands in the Altay Mountains, Northwest China was studied and allometric equations that are related to the biomass of aboveground components using diameter at breast height (DBH) or both DBH and height (H) as independent variables for L. sibirica trees were derived in this paper. A linear simultaneous equation system by using either DBH or both DBH and H (DBH&H) indices, was used to ensure additivity of the biomass of individual tree components, and was fitted for L. sibirica. Model performance was validated using the jackknifing test. Results indicate that the goodness-of-fit for the regressions was lowest for the needles (R2 ranging from 0.696 to 0.756), and highest for the stem wood (R2 ranging from 0.984 to 0.997) and the aggregated biomass components (R2 ranging from 0.994 to 0.995). The coefficient of determination for each component was only marginally improved in terms of model fit and performance in the biomass equations that used DBH&H as the independent variables compared to that used DBH as the independent variable, and needles yielded an even worse fit. Stem biomass accounted for the largest proportion (87%) of the aboveground biomass. Based on the additive equations that used DBH as the single predicitor in this study, the mean aboveground carbon stock density and the carbon storage values of L. sibirica forests were 74.07 Mg C/hm2 and 30.69 Tg C, respectively, in the Altay Mountains. Empirical comparisons of published equations for the same species growing in the Altay Mountains of Mongolia were also presented. The mean aboveground carbon stock density estimated for L. sibirica forests was higher in the Chinese Altay Mountains than in the Mongolian Altay Mountains (66.00 Mg C/hm2).


Larix sibirica; additive equation; allometric equation; nested regression method; carbon storage

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