Investigating Appropriate Sampling Design for Estimating Above-Ground Biomass in Bruneian Lowland Mixed Dipterocarp Forest
Thursday, 18 December 2014
Mixed tropical forest structure is highly heterogeneous unlike plantation or mixed temperate forest structure, and therefore, different sampling approaches are required. However, the appropriate sampling design for estimating the above-ground biomass (AGB) in Bruneian lowland mixed dipterocarp forest (MDF) has not yet been fully clarified. The aim of this study was to provide supportive information in sampling design for Bruneian forest carbon inventory. The study site was located at Kuala Belalong lowland MDF, which is part of the Ulu Tembulong National Park, Brunei Darussalam. Six 60 m × 60 m quadrats were established, separated by a distance of approximately 100 m and each was subdivided into quadrats of 10 m × 10 m, at an elevation between 200 and 300 m above sea level. At each plot all free-standing trees with diameter at breast height (dbh) ≥ 1 cm were measured. The AGB for all trees with dbh ≥ 10 cm was estimated by allometric models. In order to analyze changes in the diameter-dependent parameters used for estimating the AGB, different quadrat areas, ranging from 10 m × 10 m to 60 m × 60 m, were used across the study area, starting at the South-West end and moving towards the North-East end. The derived result was as follows: (a) Big trees (dbh ≥ 70 cm) with sparse distribution have remarkable contribution to the total AGB in Bruneian lowland MDF, and therefore, special consideration is required when estimating the AGB of big trees. Stem number of trees with dbh ≥ 70 cm comprised only 2.7% of all trees with dbh ≥ 10 cm, but 38.5% of the total AGB. (b) For estimating the AGB of big trees at the given acceptable limit of precision (p), it is more efficient to use large quadrats than to use small quadrats, because the total sampling area decreases with the former. Our result showed that 239 20 m × 20 m quadrats (9.6 ha in total) were required, while 15 60 m × 60 m quadrats (5.4 ha in total) were required when estimating the AGB of the trees with dbh ≥ 70 cm at 10% p. (c) In order to decrease the measurement time, it is necessary to use nested quadrats containing smaller sub-quadrats. Also, it was found that when 15 60 m × 60 m quadrats for trees with dbh ≥ 70 cm, and 20 m × 20 m sub-quadrats for trees with dbh of 10.0-19.9 cm were used, AGB could be estimated below 10% p for both dbh classes.