Species-specific allometric equations for predicting belowground root biomass in plantations: case study of spotted gums (Corymbia citriodora subspecies Variegata) in Queensland
Spotted gum (Corymbia citriodora spp. variegata; CCV) has been widely planted, has a wide natural distribution, and is the most important commercially harvested hardwood species in Queensland, Australia. It has a great capacity to sequester carbon, thus reducing the impact of CO2 emissions on climate. Belowground root biomass (BGB) plays an important role as a carbon sink in terrestrial ecosystems. To explore the potential of biomass and carbon accumulation belowground, we developed and validated models for CCV plantations in Queensland. The roots of twenty-three individual trees (size range 11.8-42.0 cm diameter at breast height) from three sites were excavated to a 1-m depth and were weighed to obtain BGB. Weighted nonlinear regression models were most reliable for estimating BGB. To evaluate the candidate models, the data set was cross-validated with 70% of the data used for training and 30% of the data used for testing. The cross-validation process was repeated 23 times and the validation of the models were averaged over 23 iterations. The best model for predicting spotted gum BGB was based on a single parameter, with the diameter at breast height (D) as an independent variable. The best equation BGB = 0.02933 x D-2.5805 had an adjusted R-2 of 0.854 and a mean absolute percentage error of 0.090%. This equation was tested against published BGB equations; the findings from this are discussed. Our equation is recommended to allow improved estimates of BGB for this species.
Department/SchoolDVC - Academic
Place of publicationSwitzerland
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