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Biomass and nutrient distribution in two old growth forest ecosystems in south coastal British Columbia Krumlik, Jiri George

Abstract

The distribution of the above-ground biomass and macronutrient content of the trees were studied on two sample plots in south coastal British Columbia, near Vancouver. The plots differed in elevation (4,600 and 2,200 feet; 1,500 and 700 m), in soil type and depth. Tree age was similar in both plots, ranging from 150 to 530 years. The tree cover on the high elevation plot consisted of Tsuga mertensiana (Bong.) Carr. (mountain hemlock) and Abies amabilis (Dougl.) Forbes (Pacific silver fir) while the lower elevation plot was occupied by Tsuga heterophylla (Raf.) Sarg. (western hemlock), Thuja plicata D. Don (western red cedar) and Chamaecy- paris nootkatensis (D. Don) Spach (yellow cedar). Twenty-four trees were sampled to determine the biomass and nutrient content of wood, bark, branches, twigs, foliage and cones. Another nine trees were sampled for the biomass and nutrient content of wood and bark only. Multiple regression analysis was used to establish the relationship between d.b.h., tree length, crown length and biomass of the various tree components. The regression equations obtained were used to estimate the total biomass of wood, bark, branches, twigs and foliage contained in the trees on each of the sample plots. The data thus obtained were combined with data on chemical concentration and used to estimate the distribution of macronutrient elements in different above-ground biomass components of the stands.

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