Changes of tree stem biomass in European forests since 1950

Lebedev A., Kuzmichev V. (2022): Changes of tree stem biomass in European forests since 1950. J. For. Sci., 68: 107–115.

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Based on the measurements of the biomass of the stems of 3 699 trees of Scots pine, Norway spruce, and silver birch in Europe since 1950, it has been shown that these tree species show a reduction in biomass and wood density. These results contradict the fact that the volume of wood is directly converted to biomass using the historical values of the conversion rates. From 1950 to 2020 the biomass of 1 m3 of the stem with bark decreased on average by 80 kg (–17%) for Scots pine, by 105 kg (–22%) for Norway spruce and by 92 kg (–15%) for silver birch. The results obtained should be taken into account when assessing the technical properties of wood and estimating carbon sequestration by forest biomass. Since decreasing trends in stem biomass have been identified for several tree species, the phenomenon may have a large degree of generality. Such studies should be continued both at the regional and national level and at the global level.

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