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Biomass distribution, allocation and growth efficiency in European beech trees of different ages in pure even-aged stands in northeast France

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Determination of the biomass and biomass increment of trees in managed stands is a pre-requisite for estimating the carbon stocks and fluxes, in order to adapt the forests to new climatic requirements, which impose to maximize the CO2 retained by forests. Tree biomass and biomass increment equations were formerly developed in two young experimental beech stands in the Hesse forest (NE France). To extend such a study to beech stands of different age classes, it was necessary to build biomass and biomass increment equations that could be used for any age, called generalized biomass equations. For that, trees were sampled in plots covering a large age range in Hesse forest, and in each plot several trees were chosen to represent the different social classes. Compatible biomass and biomass increment equations for the different tree compartments and their combination in above and belowground tree parts were developed and fitted, allowing the analysis of the variations of the biomass distribution and allocation with tree age. Stem growth efficiency (stem growth per unit of leaf area) appeared dependent on tree age and tree social status. The biomass and biomass increment equations established for beech allow the estimation of the biomass and carbon stocks and fluxes (NPP) for the even-aged beech stands of the Hesse forest, whatever their age. These equations could also be used to analyze the effects of silvicultural treatments on the biomass and carbon stocks and fluxes of beech stands, using the available stand growth and yield models of beech.

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Life Sciences, Plant Science, Ecology, other