iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry


Methods for biomass stock estimation in Mediterranean maquis systems

Costantino Sirca (1-2)   , Antonio Caddeo (1), Donatella Spano (1-2), Valentina Bacciu (2), Serena Marras (1-2)

iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry, Volume 10, Issue 1, Pages 108-114 (2016)
doi: https://doi.org/10.3832/ifor1769-009
Published: Aug 21, 2016 - Copyright © 2016 SISEF

Research Articles

As a result of Kyoto Protocol agreements, the scientific community increased its efforts to enhance the availability of biomass and organic carbon stock data in forest ecosystems. Nevertheless, a considerable data shortage has been recognized in estimating the stock of above-ground biomass (AGB) in Mediterranean maquis systems. This work aims at contributing in addressing such shortage by testing quick and non-disruptive methods to estimate the AGB stock in maquis species. Two methodologies were tested in three widespread sclerophyllous evergreen species (Pistacia lentiscus, Euphorbia dendroides, and Cystus monspeliensis). Both methodologies were based on the estimation of the apparent volume (AV): the first one assumed the shrub shape (or canopy) to be similar to a regular tridimensional solid, while the second method was based on plant digital images analysis. Results showed some differences in AV values estimated through the two methodologies, although a high correlation was found between them (R2 = 0.92-0.98) and with the AGB weight obtained from plant samples (R2 = 0.89-0.96). As a consequence, the shrubs apparent density values (i.e., weight/AV) vary depending on the method used for AV estimation. This should be taken into account when AV is used for AGB estimation. Besides, measurements of above-ground biomass were carried out to characterize the studied area. Results showed high variability in AGB values, ranging from 7.04 to 48.05 Mg ha-1 of dry matter.


Shrubland, Allometric Equations, Above Ground Biomass, Apparent Volume

Authors’ address

Costantino Sirca
Antonio Caddeo
Donatella Spano
Serena Marras
DIPNET - Department of Science for Nature and Environmental Resources, University of Sassari, v. de Nicola 9, I-07100 Sassari (Italy)
Costantino Sirca
Donatella Spano
Valentina Bacciu
Serena Marras
Fondazione CMCC - Centro Euro-Mediterraneo sui Cambiamenti Climatici, Divisione IAFES, v. de Nicola 9, I-07100 Sassari (Italy)

Corresponding author

Costantino Sirca


Sirca C, Caddeo A, Spano D, Bacciu V, Marras S (2016). Methods for biomass stock estimation in Mediterranean maquis systems. iForest 10: 108-114. - doi: 10.3832/ifor1769-009

Academic Editor

Rupert Seidl

Paper history

Received: Jul 15, 2015
Accepted: Apr 21, 2016

First online: Aug 21, 2016
Publication Date: Feb 28, 2017
Publication Time: 4.07 months

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