Current issue: 54(2)
Under compilation: 54(3)
This work presents the findings of a study concerning variability in the basic density of silver birch (Betula pendula Roth) wood, depending on the geographical location of tree stands, the age and thickness of the trees, the forest habitat type, and interactions between some of these factors. The study was carried out on wood from trees aged approximately 30, 50 and 70 years in 12 forest districts located throughout Poland. In total 4777 wood samples, taken from 306 trees from 51 test plots, were measured. The location, the age of the trees, the thickness of the trees and the forest habitat type, as well as interactions between these factors, proved to have a significant influence on the basic density of silver birch wood. The highest mean values of the basic density of the birch wood were found in Sokołów forest district on the FBF habitat type (549 kg m–3) and in Giżycko forest district on the FMBF habitat type (548 kg m–3). For the entire set of examined material, the average values of the basic density of wood increase with tree age. For the examined material originating in FBF and FMBF habitats the average values of basic density showed no significant differences; however, in the cases of the forest districts of Giżycko, Łobez and Rudziniec, significant differences in the analysed property were observed.
We determined empirical models for estimating total aboveground as well as stem, branches, and foliage dry biomass of young (age up to 16 years) silver birch (Betula pendula Roth.) growing on the post-agricultural lands. Two sets of allometric models for trees with a height below or above 1.3 m (small and large trees respectively) were developed. Simplified models were elaborated based exclusively on appropriate tree diameter (diameter at ground level for small trees, diameter at breast height for large trees), while expanded models also included tree height. Total aboveground biomass was estimated as the sum of biomass of all tree components. To assure additivity of the developed equations, the seemingly unrelated regression approach for the final model fitting was used. Expanded models in both tree groups were characterized by a better fit to the data (R2 for total aboveground biomass for small and large trees equaled 0.8768 and 0.9752, respectively). Diameter at breast height appeared to be a better predictor than diameter at ground level – simplified models had better fit for large trees (R2 for total aboveground biomass equals 0.9611) than for small ones (R2 = 0.7516). The developed equations provide biomass predictions consistent with available Latvian, Estonian, Finnish, Swedish, and Norwegian models for silver birch.