Relationship between allometric variables and biomass in western juniper (Juniperus occidentalis) Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/x346d7083

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  • A tenfold expansion of western juniper (Juniperus occidentalis spp. occidentalis) into the sagebrush steppe has led to the degradation of the economic and ecological potential of these landscapes. Land managers have enacted numerous methods to reduce distributions and densities of these trees. Assessment of above ground juniper biomass, expressed overall as well as in each of four fuel - size classes is useful information to land managers for several reasons. These include: enhance smoke management for prescribed burns, appraise feasibility of locating biomass cogeneration power plants, and extrapolating known nutrient and carbon concentrations contained within juniper to the landscape scale. Two sites were selected within Lake County, OR for this research. Allometric measurements including canopy area, canopy volume, age, height, basal diameter were taken from 129 trees and 56 of these were destructively sampled to obtain biomass of each tree; by size classes as well as over all. Regression statistics were utilized to find the correlation between allometric and biomass measurements. Of the allometric variables measured for this research, canopy volume, canopy area, and basal diameter were the strongest predictors of biomass found, with respective R2 values of 0.88, 0.87, 0.81. The proportion of biomass within each of the four size classes was: 34% for size class 1, 15% for size class 2, 23% for size class 3, and 28% for size class 4. Average biomass for these sites was 2,482 kg/ha for the Fort Rock site and 5,410 kg/ha for the Lakeview site. These models can be used to estimate biomass for co-generation plants, estimate nutrient pools and fuel loads, and predict changes in community biomass based on species or growth form groups.
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