The Importance of Tree Height in Estimating Individual Tree Biomass while Considering Errors in Measurements and Allometric Models

Thuch Phalla, Tetsuji Ota, Nobuya Mizoue, Tsuyoshi Kajisa, Shigejiro Yoshida, Ma Vuthy, Sokh Heng


This study evaluated the uncertainty of individual tree biomass estimated by allometric models by both including and excluding tree height independently. Using two independent sets of measurements on the same trees, the errors in the measurement of diameter at breast height and tree height were quantified, and the uncertainty of individual tree biomass estimation caused by errors in measurement was calculated. For both allometric models, the uncertainties of the individual tree biomass estimation caused by the use of a specific allometric model were also calculated. Finally, the overall uncertainty of individual tree biomass by combining the two uncertainties was calculated. The allometric model including tree height was 6 % more accurate than that excluding tree height when the uncertainty caused by allometric models became the only consideration. However, in terms of the uncertainty caused by measurement, the allometric model excluding tree height was three times more accurate than allometric model including tree height. As a result, the allometric model excluding tree height was 5 % more accurate than the allometric model including tree height when both causes of uncertainty, the allometric model and measurement errors were considered. In conclusion, errors in tree height measurement have the potential to increase the error of aboveground biomass estimation.


Error propagation; Individual tree biomass; Measurement error; Tree height; Tropics

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