Articles | Volume 13, issue 5
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-13-1571-2016
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-13-1571-2016
Research article
 | 
14 Mar 2016
Research article |  | 14 Mar 2016

Closing a gap in tropical forest biomass estimation: taking crown mass variation into account in pantropical allometries

Pierre Ploton, Nicolas Barbier, Stéphane Takoudjou Momo, Maxime Réjou-Méchain, Faustin Boyemba Bosela, Georges Chuyong, Gilles Dauby, Vincent Droissart, Adeline Fayolle, Rosa Calisto Goodman, Matieu Henry, Narcisse Guy Kamdem, John Katembo Mukirania, David Kenfack, Moses Libalah, Alfred Ngomanda, Vivien Rossi, Bonaventure Sonké, Nicolas Texier, Duncan Thomas, Donatien Zebaze, Pierre Couteron, Uta Berger, and Raphaël Pélissier

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Short summary
Monitoring forest carbon stocks requires understanding how resources allocation within trees varies across tree size, species and environmental conditions. Using data on tree dimensions and mass, we show that the average tree shape varies along ontogeny, with large canopy trees having a greater proportion of carbon in their crowns (up to 50 %). This variation pattern generates important bias in carbon predictions at both tree and stand levels, which can be corrected using simple crown metrics.
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