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Wood density, phytomass variations within and among trees, and allometric equations in a tropical rainforest of Africa

Henry M., Besnard A., Asante W.A., Eshun J., Adu-Bredu S., Valentini R., Bernoux M., Saint André L.. 2010. Forest Ecology and Management, 260 (8) : p. 1375-1388.

The development of tree allometric equations is crucial to accurate forest carbon assessment. However, very few allometric equations exist for sub-Saharan Africa and as a result generalized allometric equations, often established for forests in other continents, are used by default. The objectives of this study were (1) to propose a sampling methodology and calculation procedures to assess biomass for tropical tree species of contrasted tree shapes in Africa, (2) to identify factors affecting within and between trees wood density, (3) to propose an allometric model that integrates these factors and (4) to evaluate the reliability of using generalized allometric equations in this type of forests. Models were developed to predict wood density and phytomass of the trees based on the harvesting of 42 trees from 16 species, representing three guild status in the wet evergreen forest of Boi Tano in Ghana. Results indicated that the wood density was highly influenced by the tree species, guild status, size of the tree and pith to bark distance. Dry mass of a tree was influenced by diameter at breast height, crown diameter and wood density. The wood density depends on the position of the wood within the tree and the guild status considered. The use of generalized allometric models in literature is limited by the specific climate zone, the consideration of tree height and species specific wood density. In considering those factors, using generalized allometric equations could result in an error of 3%. Further research should better consider the bigger trees and the influence of the topography and ecosystem history. (Résumé d'auteur)

Mots-clés : bois tropical; séquestration du carbone; carbone; réduction des émissions; densité; biomasse; allométrie; modèle de simulation; modèle mathématique; forêt tropicale humide; bois; afrique occidentale; ghana

Thématique : Méthodes mathématiques et statistiques; Foresterie - Considérations générales; Anatomie et morphologie des plantes; Physiologie végétale : croissance et développement; Conservation de la nature et ressources foncières

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