Canadian Forest Service Publications

Operational biomass recovery of small trees: equations for six central Ontario tree species. 2015. Theil, M.; Basiliko, N.; Caspersen, J.; Fera, J.; Jones, T. Canadian Journal of Forest Research 45:372-377.

Year: 2015

Issued by: Great Lakes Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 37006

Language: English

Availability: PDF (request by e-mail)

Available from the Journal's Web site.
DOI: 10.1139/cjfr2014-0429

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Accurate estimates of the amount of biomass that can be recovered at the roadside are needed to make informed decisions about whether to implement an increased utilization harvesting system to supply additional bioenergy feedstocks. Current estimates of recovery are based on total aboveground biomass equations that do not always account for the volume lost to the unharvested stumps or to tops and branches broken during forestry operations. The study took place in a white pine (Pinus strobus L.) mixedwood forest at the Petawawa Research Forest in central Ontario. Equations to describe recoverable biomass were developed from 371 cut and skidded trees, which ranged from 3 to 24 cm in diameter at breast height, across six species. For each species and diameter size class, we evaluated the difference between estimates produced by locally developed equations and those from published equations produced for other locations and forest types. Our recovered biomass estimates were generally higher than the Canadian national averages but within the observed range of published values from across North America. We report that small trees are recovered nearly in their entirety, with little breakage and loss during operations. The high degree of variability among estimates produced by the various equations poses one of the biggest challenges in accurately estimating roadside biomass in an operational setting.