Biomass distribution of unmanaged upland forests in Minnesota

Lewis F. Ohmann, David F. Grigal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


A floristic analysis of natural and logged upland forest communities previously identified 12 forest and one non-forest community-types within the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness of Minnesota. Data collected for the floristic analysis were applied to biomass estimation equations to produce estimates by species for stands within each community-type. Total above-ground biomass was 4 t ha-1 in the non-forest community-type, and ranged from 121 t ha-1 in the jack pine-oak type to 268 t ha-1 in the red pine type. Highest biomass occurred in community-types with long-lived tree species; however, all community-types have similar mean annual biomass increments. Biomass distribution by vegetative strata within and among the community-types was examined. Distribution of biomass among undergrowth strata varied significantly with community-type. Total undergrowth biomass, however, had a narrow range from 1.9 to 4.4 t ha-1 because the biomass for the different strata summed in a compensatory manner. Biomass among vegetative strata were related; an increase in biomass of the tree stratum was related to reduced biomass of lower strata. Such relationships were not sufficient to fully explain variation in biomass of those strata among community-types. Significant differences in biomass among community-types, and the lack of differences among random assignments of the same communities into 12 groups, suggest that the original floristic classification provided a valid basis to compare ecosystem properties.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)205-222
Number of pages18
JournalForest Ecology and Management
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - Dec 1985

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