Total aboveground biomass and structure of tropical forest delineated by Projeto RADAMBRASIL in northern Rondonia, Brazil Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/cr56n539r

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  • Tropical forests are of global importance with respect to their influence on biogeochemical cycles, climatic patterns, and as large reservoirs of biodiversity. Yet, few studies have quantified their structure, biomass, and carbon pools; basic information necessary to better understand the global function of tropical forests. The RADAMBRASIL project was conducted in the 1970's to inventory Brazil's natural resources. Describing a relationship between total aboveground biomass (TAGB) and the RADAMBRASIL forest inventories could add to the usefulness of RADAMBRASIL data base for the estimation of TAGB and carbon pools of the Amazon Basin. Our study quantified TAGB and forest structure of 20 undisturbed primary forest stands that were a part of Projeto RADAMBRASIL. This study was located in Rondonia, Brazil; an area in which a large portion of Amazonian deforestation occurred. TAGB ranged from 533 Mg ha-1 in a dense forest site to 288 Mg ha-1 in an open forest site with a mean TAGB of 341 Mg ha-1. TAGB and structure in each stand was described by partitioning and measuring the vegetation components. Non-tree components included palm, vines, litter, rootmat, and dead vegetation. The non-tree component of TAGB was highly variable (i.e.; 12% and 41%). We tested the hypothesis that there was a high correlation between these enumerated TAGB estimates from our study and predictive models that use commercial volumes from RADAMBRASIL to estimate TAGB (Fearnside, 1992 and Brown and Lugo 1992). No significant correlation was found between the modeled TAGB and the field measured TAG B. The Brown and Lugo model underestimated the mean for dense forests by > 1 00 Mg ha-1 (28%), conversely the Fearnside model overestimated the mean for open forests by > 100Mg ha-1(35%). No correlation was found between the TAGB estimates from this study and commercial volume reported in RADAMBRASIL, therefore no model was possible for TAGB based on commercial volume. Determining relationships between classifications from forest inventories and actual biomass data could improve models of global climate change and biogeochemical cycles. Given results from this study, current estimates of TAGB for Amazonian rainforests that are lower than 290 Mg ha-1 based upon forest inventories should be viewed with caution.
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