Stem biomass and volume models of selected tropical tree species in West Africa

  • GHS Guendehou
  • A Lehtonen
  • M Moudachirou
  • R Mäkipää
  • B Sinsin


Estimating tree volume and biomass constitutes an essential part of the forest resources assessment and the evaluation of the climate change mitigation potential of forests through biomass accumulation and carbon sequestration. This research article provides stem volume and biomass equations applicable to five tree species, namely Afzelia africana Sm. (Caesalpiniaceae), Anogeissus leiocarpa (DC.) Guill. and Perr. (Combretaceae), Ceiba pentandra (L.) Gaertn. (Bombacaceae), Dialium guineense Willd. (Caesalpiniaceae), Diospyros mespiliformis Hochst. ex A.DC. (Ebenaceae) in natural protected tropical forests and, in addition, Tectona grandis L.f. (Verbenaceae) in plantations. In addition to the tree species specific equations, basic wood density, as well as carbon, nitrogen, organic matter and ash content were determined for these tree species in tropical conditions in West Africa. One hundred and sixty-two sample trees were measured through non-destructive sampling and analysed for volume and biomass. Stem biomass and stem volume were modelled as a function of diameter (at breast height; Dbh) and stem height (height to the crown base). Logarithmic models are presented that utilise Dbh and height data to predict tree component biomass and stem volumes. Alternative models are given that afford prediction based on Dbh data alone, assuming height data to be unavailable. Models that include height are preferred, having better predictive capabilities. Ranges in carbon, nitrogen and ash contents are given as well. The successful development of predictive models through the use of non-destructive methods in this study provide valuable data and tools for use in determining the contribution of these major African rainforest tree species to global carbon stocks, while ensuring the preservation of this valued African resource. This study needs to be expanded to further regions and tree species to complete a full inventory of all tree species, emphasising the relevance of African trees to carbon stocks at a global scale.

Keywords: Afzelia africana, Anogeissus leiocarpa, Ceiba pentandra, Dialium guineense, Diospyros mespiliformis, greenhouse gas inventory, non-destructive sampling, stem biomass, Tectona grandis, wood C/N ratio, wood density

Southern Forests 2012, 74(2): 77–88

Author Biographies

GHS Guendehou
Centre Béninois de la Recherche Scientifique et Technique, 03 BP 1665, Cotonou, Bénin
A Lehtonen
Finnish Forest Research Institute, PO Box 18, FI-01301 Vantaa, Finland
M Moudachirou
Laboratoire de Pharmacognosie, Faculté des Sciences et Techniques, Université d’Abomey-Calavi, 01 BP 918, Cotonou, Bénin
R Mäkipää
Finnish Forest Research Institute, PO Box 18, FI-01301 Vantaa, Finland
B Sinsin
Laboratoire d’Ecologie Appliquée, Faculté des Sciences Agronomiques, Université d’Abomey-Calavi, 01 BP 526, Cotonou, Bénin

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2070-2639
print ISSN: 2070-2620