Canadian Forest Service Publications

Canadian national tree aboveground biomass equations. Can. J. For. Res. 35:1996-2018. 2005. Lambert, M.-C.; Ung, C.-H.; Raulier, F. 35: 1996-2018.

Year: 2005

Available from: Laurentian Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 25827

Language: English

CFS Availability: Order paper copy (free), PDF (request by e-mail)


The estimation of aboveground biomass density (organic dry mass per unit area) is required for balancing Canadian national forest carbon budgets. Tree biomass equations are the basic tool for converting inventory plot data into biomass density. New sets of national tree biomass equations have therefore been produced from archival biomass data collected at the beginning of the 1980s through the ENergy from the FORest research program (ENFOR) of the Canadian Forest Service. Since the sampling plan was not standardized among provinces and territories, data had to be harmonized before any biomass equation could be considered at the national level. Two features characterize the new equations: estimated biomass of the compartments (foliage, branch, wood, and bark) are constrained to equal the total biomass, and dependence among error terms for the considered compartments of the same tree is taken into account in the estimates of both the model parameters and the variance prediction. The estimation method known to economists as “seemingly unrelated regression” allowed the inclusion of dependencies among the error terms of the considered biomass compartments. Sets of equations based on diameter at breast height (dbh) and on dbh and height have been produced for 33 species, groups of hardwood and softwood, and for all species combined. Biomass predicted by the new equations was compared with that estimated from provincial equations to evaluate the loss of accuracy when scaling up from the regional to the national scale. Bias and error of prediction from the set of national equations based on dbh and height were generally more similar to those from provincial equations than to those of predictions from the set of equations based on dbh alone.

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