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School of Geography

Nature highlights results on the importance of tree height in estimating biomass

Nature “Research Highlights” featured results from a new paper led by Ted Feldpausch and colleagues from the University of Leeds-based international projects RAINFOR, AfriTRON, TROBIT, and AMAZONICA, which was recently published in Biogeosciences. Their research shows that incorporating tree-height data into calculations of aboveground carbon stored in tropical forests reduces estimates by ~13%.

They collected data on forest structure from 327 tropics-wide plots, as well as estimating tree height for 42,656 trees across the tropics. Their results show that information on tree height was crucial for accurately estimating biomass, and that calculated reduction of carbon storage in trees due to tree height varied by region. Their results help to improve the accuracy of pantropical biomass estimates, are important for integration with remote-sensing, and are vital to policy instruments such as REDD+.

To read the Nature article go to:

The full paper appeared in Biogeosciences:
Feldpausch, T. R., et al (2012) Tree height integrated into pantropical forest biomass estimates. Biogeosciences 9:3381-3403. doi:10.5194/bg-9-3381-2012