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Project ID: 10-1-02-13

Year: 2010

Date Started: 06/01/2010

Date Completed: 12/05/2013

Title: Characterizing Crown Biomass and Crown Density Profiles in Conifer Forests of the Interior Northwest

Project Proposal Abstract: The increasing application of fuels reduction treatments and the potential for biomass harvesting have sharpened the need for accurate crown biomass models for coniferous forests in the western USA. The proposed project will provide a circumspect evaluation and comprehensive advancement of crown fuels models for the most ubiquitous conifer species in the interior northwest. Additionally, for the same species, the project will statistically characterize within-crown vertical changes in fuel densities. In combination, equations for predicting crown fuel components and the vertical distribution of those fuel components will allow for estimation of canopy biomass and fuels connectivity at the stand level, both across and within distinct height strata. This project is focused on the Conifer Canopy Fuels Estimation task statement. Conifer biomass studies have traditionally suffered from small sample sizes owing to the high costs of destructive sampling of entire tree crowns. By taking advantage of randomized branch sampling (RBS) and terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) strategies, the proposed project will more efficiently collect crown fuels data from a larger number of trees across the interior northwest. This is critical for the development of individual tree biomass and fuels distribution models since these efforts are focused entirely on the characterization of inter-tree variation. Assessments of existing crown biomass equations will include estimation of overall equation accuracy and the construction of tolerance intervals to guide decisions concerning equation validity. For species and crown fuel components with no adequate models, new equations will be developed to predict individual-tree foliage, live branch wood (in 1-hour, 10-hour, and 100-hour classes), and dead branch wood biomass. Assessments of existing equations and development of new equations will be based on destructive RBS surveys of individual tree crowns. This technique permits unbiased estimation of whole-crown fuel weights from a subsample of branches and thus facilitates the collection of data from a larger sample of trees. Statistical characterizations of vertical variations in individual-tree crown width and fuel density will be developed from TLS. Ground based laser scanning is ideal for measuring vertical variations in crown fuels as it permits direct estimations of both the horizontal extent of the crown and the opacity of the crown over the full height of the tree. With TLS a large collection of standing tree crowns can be rapidly imaged in the field and subsequently statistically profiled as a function of easily measured tree dimensions (e.g., diameter at breast-height, total height, crown ratio). The species of interest for the project include Pinus contorta, Pinus pondersosa, Pseudotsuga menziesii, Larix occidentalis, Abies grandis, Abies lasiocarpa, and Picea engelmannii. These species will be surveyed with RBS and TLS across National Forest System lands in eastern Washington, eastern Oregon, northern Idaho, and western Montana. Additionally, through research linkages with the Inland Northwest Growth & Yield Cooperative, the project will make use of data already collected from state, tribal, and private lands across the interior northwest.

Principal Investigator: David L. Affleck

Agency/Organization: University of Montana

Branch or Dept: Department of Forest Management


Other Project Collaborators

Type

Name

Agency/Organization

Branch or Dept

Co-Principal Investigator

John M. Goodburn

University of Montana

Department of Forest Management

Co-Principal Investigator

Lloyd Queen

University of Montana

Department of Forest Management

Co-Principal Investigator

Andrew J. Sanchez Meador

Northern Arizona University

Ecological Restoration Institute

Co-Principal Investigator

Carl A. Seielstad

University of Montana

Department of Forest Management

Federal Cooperator

Robert E. Keane

Forest Service

RMRS-Fire, Fuel & Smoke Science Program

Federal Fiscal Representative

Susan T. Major

Forest Service

RMRS-Rocky Mountain Research Station


Project Locations

Consortium

Northern Rockies

Northwest


Level

State

Agency

Unit

REGIONAL

Interior West

FS

REGIONAL

Interior West

STATE

REGIONAL

Interior West

PRIVATE


Project Deliverables

Final Report view or print

("Results presented in JFSP Final Reports may not have been peer-reviewed and should be interpreted as tentative until published in a peer-reviewed source.")

  ID Type Title
view or print   1795 Government Publication ASSESSING THE ACCURACY OF CROWN BIOMASS EQUATIONS FOR THE MAJOR COMMERCIAL SPECIES OF THE INT. NW
view or print   1796 Government Publication STRATEGIES FOR ASSESSING INTER- AND INTRA-SPECIFIC VARIATION IN TREE BIOMASS IN THE INTERIOR WEST
view or print   3455 Journal Article Remote Sensing
view or print   3454 Journal Article Western Journal of Applied Forestry
view or print   319 MS Thesis ASSESSMENT OF PREDICTION BIAS IN CROWN BIOMASS EQUATIONS FOR IMPORTANT CONIFER SPECIES OF THE INLAND
view or print   320 MS Thesis Application of Randomized Branch Sampling to Conifer Trees: Estimating Crown Biomass
view or print   321 MS Thesis CHARACTERIZING CROWN STRUCTURE OF THREE INTERIOR NORTHWEST CONIFER SPECIES USING TERRESTRIAL LASER S
view or print   7410 Photo Measurement of grand fir crown
view or print   7411 Photo Terrestrial laser scanning on the Lolo National Forest
view or print   7409 Photo Randomized branch sampling of western larch
view or print   7412 Photo Terrestrial laser scanning view superimposed on photograph
  go to website 4225 Website Project website was established 30 September 2011. Currently, it provides an overview of project goals and a listing of publications/presentations made for for the project. In time, it will provide links to data collected and project publications.

Supporting Documents

There are no supporting documents available for this project.

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