Skip to Main Content
Gaps in available data for modeling tree biomass in the United StatesAuthor(s): Jereme Frank; Aaron Weiskittel; David Walker; James A. Westfall; Philip J. Radtke; David L.R. Affleck; John Coulston; David W. MacFarlane
Source: Gen. Tech. Rep. NRS-184. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station. 57 p.
Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)
Station: Northern Research Station
View PDF (922.0 KB)
DescriptionWhen estimating tree-level biomass and carbon, it is common practice to develop generalized models across numerous species and large spatial extents. However, sampling efforts are generally incomplete and trees are not randomly selected. In this analysis, of the more than 1,000 biomass-related articles that were reviewed, trees were destructively sampled in over 300 studies to estimate biomass in the United States. Studies were summarized and past sampling efforts were explored to illuminate where the largest data gaps occurred in terms of tree components sampled, tree size, tree form, tree species, and location. The most prominent gaps were in large trees, particularly in Douglas-fir trees in the Pacific Northwest. In addition, tree roots were notably undersampled. Lastly, trees of poor or unusual form and low vigor were often not sampled, and this may introduce a systematic bias if not dealt with appropriately. More than 200 species did not have a biomass model or a single data point. The gaps presented here can be viewed as suggestions for future destructive sampling efforts, but the magnitude of a gap for a given model will ultimately depend on the selected modeling framework and the user's objectives.
- Check the Northern Research Station web site to request a printed copy of this publication.
- Our on-line publications are scanned and captured using Adobe Acrobat.
- During the capture process some typographical errors may occur.
- Please contact Sharon Hobrla, email@example.com if you notice any errors which make this publication unusable.
- We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
- This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
CitationFrank, Jereme; Weiskittel, Aaron; Walker, David; Westfall, James A.; Radtke, Philip J.; Affleck, David L.R.; Coulston, John; MacFarlane, David W. 2019. Gaps in available data for modeling tree biomass in the United States. Gen. Tech. Rep. NRS-184. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station. 57 p. https://doi.org/10.2737/NRS-GTR-184.
KeywordsU.S. Forest Carbon Inventory, allometric modeling, tree component biomass, gaps, tree form and vigor
- Estimates of live-tree carbon stores in the Pacific Northwest are sensitive to model selection
- Effects of sample survey design on the accuracy of classification tree models in species distribution models
- Gaps in sampling and limitations to tree biomass estimation: a review of past sampling efforts over the past 50 years
XML: View XML