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Calculating accurate aboveground dry weight biomass of herbaceous vegetation in the Great Plains: A comparison of three calculations to determine the least resource intensive and most accurate methodAuthor(s): Ben Butler
Source: In: Butler, Bret W.; Cook, Wayne, comps. The fire environment--innovations, management, and policy; conference proceedings. 26-30 March 2007; Destin, FL. Proceedings RMRS-P-46CD. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. CD-ROM. p. 293-300
Publication Series: Proceedings (P)
Station: Rocky Mountain Research Station
PDF: View PDF (670 B)
DescriptionObtaining accurate biomass measurements is often a resource-intensive task. Data collection crews often spend large amounts of time in the field clipping, drying, and weighing grasses to calculate the biomass of a given vegetation type. Such a problem is currently occurring in the Great Plains region of the Bureau of Indian Affairs. A study looked at six reservations in the Great Plains region to compare three methods of calculating aboveground dry weight biomass to determine the least resource-intensive method. Data were collected in the six agencies using a modified FIREMON plot layout that included plot description (PD), fuel loading (FL), and cover frequency (CF). Additionally, grasses were clipped and weighed on ten 20 inch X20 inch frames per plot. Analyses were performed on the plot data to calculate the dry weight biomass of each plot using three common methods. The first method, considered to be the most accurate, calculated biomass using the ECODATA clip-and-weigh (CW) protocol where the dry weight of the vegetation is converted to pounds/acre based on the frame size of 20 inches X 20 inches. The second method used the FIREMON bulk density constant of 0.8 kg/m3, which is multiplied by average height and percent cover of the vegetation and was applied to the FL and CF data. Last, a regional bulk density constant was established using the CW data. The study then compares the accuracy of both the FIREMON bulk density constant and the regional constant to the CW method. The results of this study provide a regional bulk density constant that can be used to generate accurate biomass calculations, which eliminates the need for the resource-intensive CW method.
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CitationButler, Ben. 2007. Calculating accurate aboveground dry weight biomass of herbaceous vegetation in the Great Plains: A comparison of three calculations to determine the least resource intensive and most accurate method. In: Butler, Bret W.; Cook, Wayne, comps. The fire environment--innovations, management, and policy; conference proceedings. 26-30 March 2007; Destin, FL. Proceedings RMRS-P-46CD. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. CD-ROM. p. 293-300
Keywordswildland fire management, biomass measurements, Great Plains, FIREMON, ECODATA clip-and-weigh (CW) protocol
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