iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry


Equations for estimating belowground biomass of Silver Birch, Oak and Scots Pine in Germany

Steffi Röhling (1)   , Burkhard Demant (2), Karsten Dunger (1), Mirko Neubauer (2), Katja Oehmichen (1), Thomas Riedel (1), Wolfgang Stümer (1)

iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry, Volume 12, Issue 2, Pages 166-172 (2019)
doi: https://doi.org/10.3832/ifor2862-012
Published: Mar 15, 2019 - Copyright © 2019 SISEF

Research Articles

In this study we derived allometric functions for estimating the belowground biomass (BGB) of Silver Birch (Betula pendula Roth), Pedunculate Oak (Quercus robur L.), Sessile Oak (Quercus petraea (Matt.) Liebl.) and Scots Pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) in Germany. To assess the impact on German greenhouse gas (GHG) reporting, these new functions were further compared with BGB functions currently used in France and Sweden. For developing new BGB functions 48 Silver Birches, 39 Pedunculate and Sessile Oaks and 54 Scots Pines were destructively sampled. The sampled trees spanned a DBH range from 8.2 to 52.9 cm for Silver Birch, from 7.4 to 42.0 cm for Oak and from 7.2 to 53.2 cm for Scots Pine. After fitting the data, the following values of model efficiency were achieved: 0.81 for Silver Birch, 0.98 for Oak and 0.95 for Scots Pine. The model root mean square error varies between 5.2 kg for Oak, 13.7 kg for Scots pine and 26.9 kg for Silver Birch. Comparison with the currently applied BGB functions in the German GHG inventory from France and Sweden showed that the use of these functions results in systematically different estimates for the BGB of Silver Birch and Oak. Thus, our findings indicate that BGB functions recommended for other European countries (in particular France and Sweden) are not appropriate for estimating the BGB for the tree species concerned in Germany. Currently, the derived data-set for BGB of Silver Birch, Oak and Scots Pine is the largest in Germany and the developed functions are thus the best available for estimating national BGB stock and stock change in Germany at the moment.


Belowground Biomass, Allometric Equations, National Greenhouse Gas Inventory, Betula pendula, Quercus robur, Quercus petraea, Pinus sylvestris

Authors’ address

Steffi Röhling
Karsten Dunger
Katja Oehmichen
Thomas Riedel
Wolfgang Stümer
Thünen Institute of Forest Ecosystems, Alfred-Möller-Straße 1, 16225 Eberswalde (Germany)
Burkhard Demant
Mirko Neubauer
Eberswalde University of Sustainable Development, Alfred-Möller-Straße 1, 16225 Eberswalde (Germany)

Corresponding author

Steffi Röhling


Röhling S, Demant B, Dunger K, Neubauer M, Oehmichen K, Riedel T, Stümer W (2019). Equations for estimating belowground biomass of Silver Birch, Oak and Scots Pine in Germany. iForest 12: 166-172. - doi: 10.3832/ifor2862-012

Academic Editor

Gianfranco Minotta

Paper history

Received: May 23, 2018
Accepted: Feb 06, 2019

First online: Mar 15, 2019
Publication Date: Apr 30, 2019
Publication Time: 1.23 months

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