Articles | Volume 11, issue 23
Research article
08 Dec 2014
Research article |  | 08 Dec 2014

Local spatial structure of forest biomass and its consequences for remote sensing of carbon stocks

M. Réjou-Méchain, H. C. Muller-Landau, M. Detto, S. C. Thomas, T. Le Toan, S. S. Saatchi, J. S. Barreto-Silva, N. A. Bourg, S. Bunyavejchewin, N. Butt, W. Y. Brockelman, M. Cao, D. Cárdenas, J.-M. Chiang, G. B. Chuyong, K. Clay, R. Condit, H. S. Dattaraja, S. J. Davies, A. Duque, S. Esufali, C. Ewango, R. H. S. Fernando, C. D. Fletcher, I. A. U. N. Gunatilleke, Z. Hao, K. E. Harms, T. B. Hart, B. Hérault, R. W. Howe, S. P. Hubbell, D. J. Johnson, D. Kenfack, A. J. Larson, L. Lin, Y. Lin, J. A. Lutz, J.-R. Makana, Y. Malhi, T. R. Marthews, R. W. McEwan, S. M. McMahon, W. J. McShea, R. Muscarella, A. Nathalang, N. S. M. Noor, C. J. Nytch, A. A. Oliveira, R. P. Phillips, N. Pongpattananurak, R. Punchi-Manage, R. Salim, J. Schurman, R. Sukumar, H. S. Suresh, U. Suwanvecho, D. W. Thomas, J. Thompson, M. Uríarte, R. Valencia, A. Vicentini, A. T. Wolf, S. Yap, Z. Yuan, C. E. Zartman, J. K. Zimmerman, and J. Chave


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Short summary
Forest carbon mapping may greatly reduce uncertainties in the global carbon budget. Accuracy of such maps depends however on the quality of field measurements. Using 30 large forest plots, we found large local spatial variability in biomass. When field calibration plots are smaller than the remote sensing pixels, this high local spatial variability results in an underestimation of the variance in biomass.
Final-revised paper