iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry


Aboveground tree biomass of Araucaria araucana in southern Chile: measurements and multi-objective optimization of biomass models

Erico Kutchartt (1)   , Jorge Gayoso (2), Francesco Pirotti (1), Álvaro Bucarey (2), Javier Guerra (3), Jaime Hernández (4), Patricio Corvalán (4), Karel Drápela (5), Mark Olson (6), Martin Zwanzig (7)

iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry, Volume 14, Issue 1, Pages 61-70 (2021)
doi: https://doi.org/10.3832/ifor3492-013
Published: Feb 09, 2021 - Copyright © 2021 SISEF

Research Articles

Estimating carbon stocks in wooded systems is crucial to quantify national greenhouse gas balance estimates. However, inaccurate estimates are likely due to the divergent architecture of many species. The monkey puzzle tree Araucaria araucana, with its umbrella-like architecture is a vivid example. This species, often found in monodominant stands at high elevations, is the greatest carbon reservoir in the landscape, hence estimating its carbon storage is crucial. To provide the necessary basis for these estimations, we documented the variation in basic density and moisture content along the stem profile, identified the most suitable biomass estimation models, and quantified biomass allocation for three age ranges. We measured, felled, weighed, and separated trees into three categories: stem wood, stem bark, and foliage (branches + scaly leaves). The log-linear form of the simple allometric equation Y = aXb, based on diameter at breast height as the explanatory variable, covered a large part of the variation and showed good cross-validation performance (>0.96). Models using more covariates achieved lower absolute errors, but the estimation of the additional model parameters was associated with greater uncertainty. A multi-objective model comparison revealed that the best additional covariate to further improve biomass estimation was total tree height. The mean absolute percentage error was 9.8% for the total aboveground biomass, 8% for stem wood, 12% for stem bark and 24% for foliage. Changes in biomass distribution among tree components were related to age. For older trees, there was a relative increase in stem wood, a decreased proportion of foliage, but no change in stem bark. The proportion of stem bark biomass is similar to that of Araucaria angustifolia, but higher than in other conifers and most trees in general. Our results provide key properties for A. araucana and general guidance for the selection of easily-measurable variables allowing for excellent predictive power for local biomass estimation.


Monkey Puzzle Tree, Carbon Stocks, Forest Modelling, Multicriteria Optimization, Allometry

Authors’ address

Erico Kutchartt 0000-0002-9134-4591
Francesco Pirotti 0000-0002-4796-6406
Department of Land, Environment, Agriculture and Forestry (TESAF), University of Padova, v. dell’Università 16, I-35020 Legnaro, PD (Italy)
Jorge Gayoso 0000-0002-6057-6672
Álvaro Bucarey
Instituto de Bosques y Sociedad (IBOS), Universidad Austral de Chile, Campus Isla Teja, Valdivia (Chile)
Javier Guerra
Campo Digital GIS and Remote Sensing, Sarmiento 1767, Osorno (Chile)
Jaime Hernández 0000-0002-2653-2764
Patricio Corvalán 0000-0002-9642-0629
Departamento de Gestión Forestal y su Medio Ambiente, Universidad de Chile, Santa Rosa, 11315 La Pintana, Santiago (Chile)
Karel Drápela 0000-0001-7437-6252
Department of Forest Management and Applied Geoinformatics (FFWT), Mendel University in Brno, Zemedelská 3, 61300 Brno (Czech Republic)
Mark Olson 0000-0003-3715-4567
Instituto de Biología, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Tercer Circuito s/n de Ciudad Universitaria, Ciudad de México 04510 (México)
Martin Zwanzig 0000-0003-1866-6743
Department of Forest Sciences, Institute of Forest Growth and Forest Computer Sciences, Technische Universität Dresden, Pienner Str. 8, D-01737 Tharandt (Germany)

Corresponding author



Kutchartt E, Gayoso J, Pirotti F, Bucarey Á, Guerra J, Hernández J, Corvalán P, Drápela K, Olson M, Zwanzig M (2021). Aboveground tree biomass of Araucaria araucana in southern Chile: measurements and multi-objective optimization of biomass models. iForest 14: 61-70. - doi: 10.3832/ifor3492-013

Academic Editor

Alessio Collalti

Paper history

Received: May 05, 2020
Accepted: Dec 10, 2020

First online: Feb 09, 2021
Publication Date: Feb 28, 2021
Publication Time: 2.03 months

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