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Model performance of tree height-diameter relationships in the central Congo Basin

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Abstract
Key message: Tree heights in the central Congo Basin are overestimated using best-available height-diameter models. These errors are propagated into the estimation of aboveground biomass and canopy height, causing significant bias when used for calibration of remote sensing products in this region. Context Tree height-diameter models are important components of estimating aboveground biomass (AGB) and calibrating remote sensing products in tropical forests. Aims: For a data-poor area of the central Congo Basin, we quantified height-diameter model performance of local, regional and pan-tropical models for their use in estimating AGB and canopy height. Methods: At three old-growth forest sites, we assessed the bias introduced in height estimation by regional and pantropical height-diameter models. We developed an optimal local model with site-level randomizations accounted for by using a mixed-effects modeling approach. We quantified the error propagation of modeled heights for estimating AGB and canopy height. Results: Regional and pan-tropical height-diameter models produced a significant overestimation in tree height, propagating into significant overestimations of AGB and Lorey's height. The pan-tropical model accounting for climatic drivers performed better than the regional models. We present a local height-diameter model which produced nonsignificant errors for AGB and canopy height estimations at our study area. Conclusion: The application of general models at our study area introduced bias in tree height estimations and the derived stand-level variables. Improved delimitation of regions in tropical Africa with similar forest structure is needed to produce models fit for calibrating remote sensing products.
Keywords
Allometry, Error propagation, Biomass, Lorey's height, Size-density distributions, Tropical forest, ABOVEGROUND BIOMASS, TROPICAL FORESTS, ADULT STATURE, DOUGLAS-FIR, ALLOMETRY, SITE, GROWTH, SPRUCE, SHADE, MAINE

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Chicago
Kearsley, Elizabeth, Pieter CJ Moonen, Koen Hufkens, Sebastian Doetterl, Janvier Lisingo, Faustin Boyemba Bosela, Pascal Boeckx, Hans Beeckman, and Hans Verbeeck. 2017. “Model Performance of Tree Height-diameter Relationships in the Central Congo Basin.” Annals of Forest Science 74 (1).
APA
Kearsley, E., Moonen, P. C., Hufkens, K., Doetterl, S., Lisingo, J., Boyemba Bosela, F., Boeckx, P., et al. (2017). Model performance of tree height-diameter relationships in the central Congo Basin. ANNALS OF FOREST SCIENCE, 74(1).
Vancouver
1.
Kearsley E, Moonen PC, Hufkens K, Doetterl S, Lisingo J, Boyemba Bosela F, et al. Model performance of tree height-diameter relationships in the central Congo Basin. ANNALS OF FOREST SCIENCE. 2017;74(1).
MLA
Kearsley, Elizabeth, Pieter CJ Moonen, Koen Hufkens, et al. “Model Performance of Tree Height-diameter Relationships in the Central Congo Basin.” ANNALS OF FOREST SCIENCE 74.1 (2017): n. pag. Print.
@article{8520876,
  abstract     = {Key message: Tree heights in the central Congo Basin are overestimated using best-available height-diameter models. These errors are propagated into the estimation of aboveground biomass and canopy height, causing significant bias when used for calibration of remote sensing products in this region. Context Tree height-diameter models are important components of estimating aboveground biomass (AGB) and calibrating remote sensing products in tropical forests. 
Aims: For a data-poor area of the central Congo Basin, we quantified height-diameter model performance of local, regional and pan-tropical models for their use in estimating AGB and canopy height. 
Methods: At three old-growth forest sites, we assessed the bias introduced in height estimation by regional and pantropical height-diameter models. We developed an optimal local model with site-level randomizations accounted for by using a mixed-effects modeling approach. We quantified the error propagation of modeled heights for estimating AGB and canopy height. 
Results: Regional and pan-tropical height-diameter models produced a significant overestimation in tree height, propagating into significant overestimations of AGB and Lorey's height. The pan-tropical model accounting for climatic drivers performed better than the regional models. We present a local height-diameter model which produced nonsignificant errors for AGB and canopy height estimations at our study area. 
Conclusion: The application of general models at our study area introduced bias in tree height estimations and the derived stand-level variables. Improved delimitation of regions in tropical Africa with similar forest structure is needed to produce models fit for calibrating remote sensing products.},
  articleno    = {7},
  author       = {Kearsley, Elizabeth and Moonen, Pieter CJ and Hufkens, Koen and Doetterl, Sebastian and Lisingo, Janvier and Boyemba Bosela, Faustin and Boeckx, Pascal and Beeckman, Hans and Verbeeck, Hans},
  issn         = {1286-4560},
  journal      = {ANNALS OF FOREST SCIENCE},
  keyword      = {Allometry,Error propagation,Biomass,Lorey's height,Size-density distributions,Tropical forest,ABOVEGROUND BIOMASS,TROPICAL FORESTS,ADULT STATURE,DOUGLAS-FIR,ALLOMETRY,SITE,GROWTH,SPRUCE,SHADE,MAINE},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {1},
  pages        = {13},
  title        = {Model performance of tree height-diameter relationships in the central Congo Basin},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s13595-016-0611-0},
  volume       = {74},
  year         = {2017},
}

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