Project description Investigation of biomass and carbon dynamics in secondary tropical forests gives important information on ecosystem structure and functioning at local scales. With the rising fraction of secondary forests in the tropics, accurate carbon storage estimations for these ecosystems are relevant in the light of global carbon dynamics and climatic change. Above ground forest biomass (and carbon storage) can be estimated with diameter (and other tree characteristics) data and allometric equations. Such allometric relations will be established for dominant species in young secondary forests in Panama via destructive sampling. Combinations of species specific biomass models will be used to estimate aboveground tree biomass (and hence carbon storage) at stand level. The presence of numerous different tree species in tropical forests makes accurate biomass estimations relatively difficult. An optimal strategy for biomass estimations for forests with high species diversity will be defined using a modeled forest based on stand inventories and the established equations. The accuracy of established general allometric models will be tested against combinations of species specific models.
Other information This project is carried out within the framework of the research project Agua Salud of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Panama