Equations for estimating above- and belowground biomass of Norway spruce, Scots pine, birch spp. and European aspen in Latvia

<p>This study aims to derive allometric functions to estimate the above- and belowground biomass components of the most important tree species in Latvia. The study material included a total of 81 Norway spruce (<i>Picea abies</i> [L.] Karst), 102 Scots pine (<i>Pinus sylvestris</i> L.), 105 birch spp. (mainly silver birch (<i>Betula pendula</i> Roth)) and 84 European aspen (<i>Populus tremula</i> L.) trees sampled in 124 forest stands. The suitability of three mathematical models for the prediction of total aboveground biomass, stem biomass, total live and dead branch biomass, belowground biomass and small root biomass was evaluated. Our analysis revealed that the use of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change mean default values for the root-to-shoot ratio recommended for temperate and boreal ecological zones leads to the overestimation of root biomass of young trees, especially Scots pine and Norway spruce. Our findings indicate that biomass functions recommended for other Baltic Sea countries are not appropriate for the assessment of the biomass stock in Latvia’s forests because these lead to biased estimates. The biomass functions derived in our study are recommended for reporting the biomass stock in Latvia.</p>