Functional branch analysis (FBA) is a promising non-destructive alternative to the standard destructive method of tree biomass equation development. In FBA, a theoretical model of tree branching architecture is calibrated with measurements of tree stems and branches to estimate the coefficients of the biomass equation. In this study, species-specific and mixed-species tree biomass equations were derived from destructive sampling of trees in Western Kenya and compared to tree biomass equations derived non-destructively from FBA. The results indicated that the non-destructive FBA method can produce biomass equations that are similar to, but less accurate than, those derived from standard methods. FBA biomass prediction bias was attributed to the fact that real trees diverged from fractal branching architecture due to highly variable length–diameter relationships of stems and branches and inaccurate scaling relationships for the lengths of tree crowns and trunks assumed under the FBA model.
- aboveground biomass
- root architecture
- fractal analysis
MacFarlane, D. W., Kuyah, S., Mulia, R., Dietz, J., Muthuri, C., & van Noordwijk, M. (2014). Evaluating a non-destructive method for calibrating tree biomass equations derived from tree branching architecture. Trees-Structure and Function, 28(3), 807-817. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00468-014-0993-2