iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry


Belowground biomass models for young oligotrophic Scots pine stands in Latvia

Laura Kenina   , Andis Bardulis, Roberts Matisons, Rolands Kapostins, Aris Jansons

iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry, Volume 11, Issue 2, Pages 206-211 (2018)
doi: https://doi.org/10.3832/ifor2553-010
Published: Mar 01, 2018 - Copyright © 2018 SISEF

Research Articles

The increasing interest in carbon budget estimation and the growing use of woody biomass in bioenergy production raises the necessity for precise estimates of belowground biomass and soil carbon pools in forest ecosystems, particularly in terms of changes in the age structure of forests. The aim of this study was to estimate the belowground biomass of young (< 40 years) stands of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) in Latvia. The biomass of small roots (diameter 2-20 mm), coarse roots (diameter > 20 mm), and stumps of 39 trees from eight stands growing on dry, nutrient-poor mineral soils was measured and compared to the aboveground variables of sampled trees. The results revealed that stumps, small roots, and coarse roots comprised 43%, 35% and 22%, respectively, of the belowground biomass of young Scots pines. The proportion of belowground biomass over the total tree biomass was age-dependent, ranging from 33% to 17% for 8-year and 40-year old trees, respectively. Aboveground tree variables were significantly correlated with the belowground biomass, being stemwood volume and basal area the best predictors (R2 = 0.86-0.98, relative errors = 26-43%) of the belowground biomass components. Accordingly, the developed models produced more accurate estimates compared to previous models for the region, thus reducing the uncertainty in determining the carbon budget for belowground biomass. Still, an analysis of a more comprehensive dataset is needed to account for the effect of the social status of trees, as well as the within- and between-stand variation.


Hemiboreal Forests, Europe, Pinus sylvestris, Allometric Equation, Coarse Roots, Total Root Biomass

Authors’ address

Laura Kenina
Andis Bardulis
Roberts Matisons
Rolands Kapostins
Aris Jansons
Latvian State Forest Research Institute Silava, Rigas Street 111, LV-2169 Salaspils (Latvia)

Corresponding author

Laura Kenina


Kenina L, Bardulis A, Matisons R, Kapostins R, Jansons A (2018). Belowground biomass models for young oligotrophic Scots pine stands in Latvia. iForest 11: 206-211. - doi: 10.3832/ifor2553-010

Academic Editor

Claudia Cocozza

Paper history

Received: Jul 14, 2017
Accepted: Dec 20, 2017

First online: Mar 01, 2018
Publication Date: Apr 30, 2018
Publication Time: 2.37 months

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