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ISSN: 2157-7625

Journal of Ecosystem & Ecography
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Review Article

Methods to Estimate Above-Ground Biomass and Carbon Stock in Natural Forests - A Review

Kuimi T. Vashum and S. Jayakumar*

Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences, School of life sciences, Pondicherry University, puducherry-605014, India

*Corresponding Author:
S. Jayakumar
Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences
School of life sciences, Pondicherry University
Puducherry-605014, India
Tel: +91-413-2654962
Fax: +91-413-2655734
E-mail: [email protected]

Received date: July 20, 2012; Accepted date: September 15, 2012; Published date: September 17, 2012

Citation: Vashum KT, Jayakumar S (2012) Methods to Estimate Above-Ground Biomass and Carbon Stock in Natural Forests - A Review. J Ecosyst Ecogr 2:116. doi: 10.4172/2157-7625.1000116

Copyright: © 2012 Vashum KT, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


Carbon exists as carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and constitutes about 0.04% of the atmosphere. In the recent past, it has gained a lot of attention as a greenhouse gas, as it has potential to influence the climate pattern of the world. Anthropogenic activities like industrialisation, deforestation, forest degradation and burning of fossil fuel, has caused an increase in the level of carbon in the atmosphere and disrupted the global carbon cycle. However, nature has its own mechanism of sequestering and storing the carbon in its “reservoirs” or “sinks’’. Forest plays an important role in the global carbon cycle as carbon sinks of the terrestrial ecosystem. The carbon sequestered or stored on the forest trees are mostly referred to as the biomass of the tree or forest. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change identified five carbon pools of the terrestrial ecosystem involving biomass, namely the aboveground biomass, below-ground biomass, litter, woody debris and soil organic matter. Among all the carbon pools, the above-ground biomass constitutes the major portion of the carbon pool. Estimating the amount of forest biomass is very crucial for monitoring and estimating the amount of carbon that is lost or emitted during deforestation, and it will also give us an idea of the forest’s potential to sequester and store carbon in the forest ecosystem. Estimations of forest carbon stocks are based upon the estimation of forest biomass. Forest’s carbon stocks are generally not measured directly; however, many authors assume the carbon concentration of tree parts to be 50% or 45% of the dry biomass. This paper, aims to review and summarise the various methods and studies that were carried out to estimate the above-ground biomass of the forest.


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