Current issue: 54(2)
Accurate estimates of aboveground biomass (AGB) strongly depend on the suitability and precision of allometric models. Diospyros mespiliformis Hochst. ex A. DC. is a key component of most sub-Sahara agroforestry systems and, one of the most economically important trees in Africa. Despite its importance, very few scientific information exists regarding its biomass and carbon storage potential. In this study direct method was used to develop site-specific biomass models for D. mespiliformis tree components in Burkina Faso. Allometric models were developed for stem, branch and leaf biomass using data from 39 tree harvested in Sudanian savannas of Burkina Faso. Diameter at breast height (DBH), tree height, crown diameter (CD) and basal diameter (D20) were regressed on biomass component using non-linear models with DBH alone, and DBH in combination with height and/or CD as predictor variables. Carbon content was estimated for each tree component using the ash method. Allometric models differed between the experimental sites, except for branch biomass models. Site-specific models developed in this study exhibited good model fit and performance, with explained variance of 81–98%. Using models developed from other areas would have underestimated or overestimated biomass by between –72% and +98%. Carbon content in aboveground components of D. mespiliformis in Tiogo, Boulon and Tapoa-Boopo was 55.40% ± 1.50, 55.52% ± 1.06 and 55.63% ± 1.00, respectively, and did not vary significantly (P-value = 0.909). Site-specific models developed in this study are useful tool for estimating carbon stocks and can be used to accurately estimate tree components biomass in vegetation growing under similar conditions.
Accurate estimates of both above-ground biomass (AGB) and below-ground biomass (BGB) are essential for estimating carbon (C) balances at various geographical scales and formulating effective climate change mitigation programs. However, estimating BGB is challenging, particularly for forest ecosystems, so robust allometric equations are needed. To obtain such equations for savanna-woodlands of the West African north sudanian zone, we selected four common native woody species (Anogeissus leiocarpa (DC.) Guill. & Perr., Detarium microcarpum Guill. & Perr., Piliostigma thonningii (Schumach.) Milne-Redh. and Vitellaria paradoxa C.F. Gaertn.). At two sites in Burkina Faso, we determined the BGB of 30 trees of each of these species by excavation, and measured various above-ground dimensional variables. The root:shoot ratio varied widely among the species, from 0.1 to 3.4. Depending on the species, allometric equations based on stem basal area at 20 cm height, basal area at breast height and tree height explained 50–95% of the variation in BGB. The best generic equation we obtained, based on basal area at 20 cm, explained 60% of the variation in BGB across the species. Three previously published generic allometric equations underestimated BGB by 8 to 63%. The presented equations should significantly improve the accuracy of BGB estimates in savanna-woodlands and help avoid costly needs to excavate root systems.