Canadian Forest Service Publications

Estimating coarse root biomass of balsam fir. 2007. Lavigne, M.B.; Krasowski, M.J. Canadian Journal of Forest Research 37: 991-998.

Year: 2007

Issued by: Atlantic Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 27435

Language: English

Availability: Order paper copy (free)

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Abstract

Root systems of 31 balsam fir (Abies balsamea (L.) Mill.) Trees were excavated at five sites in central New Brunswick. Sites ranged from 10 to >80 years in stand age; most had been thinned at least once, and densities ranged from 750 to 44 000 trees ha-1. The relationship between diameter at breast height and coarse root biomass in the present investigation was similar to one reported for balsam fir in northern New Brunswick but differed from two other published biomass equations. Coarse root biomass per hectare ranged from 3 to 30 Mg ha-1 among studied sites. Coarse root biomass in the smaller root diameter classes was similar at all sites, but biomass in diameter classes >50 mm increased with stand age. Precommercial thinning added 3 Mg coarse root biomass ha-1 to the detrital pool. The ratio of coarse root biomass to stem biomass averaged 0.36 (±0.02 SE). These results show that there is more belowground biomass in balsam fir ecosystems than would be expected from the generic ratio of belowground to aboveground biomass often applied to coniferous ecosystems, pointing to a need for using ratios that are more specific.