The global forest above-ground biomass pool for 2010 estimated from high-resolution satellite observations

A - Papers appearing in refereed journals

Santoro, M., Cartus, O., Carvalhais, N., Rozendaal, D., Avitabile, V., Araza, A., Bruin, S. D., Herold, M., Quegan, S., Veiga, P. R., Balzter, H., Carreiras, J., Schepaschenko, D., Korets, M., Shimada, M., Itoh, T., Martinez, A. M., Cavlovic, J., Gatti, R. C., Bispo, P. D. C., Dewnath, N., Labriere, N., Liang, J., Lindsell, J., Mitchard, E. T., Morel, A., Pascagaza, A. M. P., Ryan, C. M., Slik, F., Laurin, G. V., Verbeeck, H., Wijaya, A. and Willcock, S. 2021. The global forest above-ground biomass pool for 2010 estimated from high-resolution satellite observations. Earth System Science Data. 13 (8), p. 3927–3950. https://doi.org/0.5194/essd-2020-148

AuthorsSantoro, M., Cartus, O., Carvalhais, N., Rozendaal, D., Avitabile, V., Araza, A., Bruin, S. D., Herold, M., Quegan, S., Veiga, P. R., Balzter, H., Carreiras, J., Schepaschenko, D., Korets, M., Shimada, M., Itoh, T., Martinez, A. M., Cavlovic, J., Gatti, R. C., Bispo, P. D. C., Dewnath, N., Labriere, N., Liang, J., Lindsell, J., Mitchard, E. T., Morel, A., Pascagaza, A. M. P., Ryan, C. M., Slik, F., Laurin, G. V., Verbeeck, H., Wijaya, A. and Willcock, S.
Abstract

The terrestrial forest carbon pool is poorly quantified, in particular in regions with low forest inventory capacity. By combining multiple satellite observations of synthetic aperture radar (SAR) backscatter around the year 2010, we generated a global, spatially explicit dataset of above-ground forest biomass (dry mass, AGB) with a spatial resolution of 1 ha. Using an extensive database of 110,897 AGB measurements from field inventory plots, we show that the spatial patterns and magnitude of AGB are well captured in our map with the exception of regional uncertainties in high carbon stock forests with AGB > 250 Mg ha-1 where the retrieval was effectively based on a single radar observation. With a total global AGB of 522 Pg, our estimate of the terrestrial biomass pool in forests is lower than most estimates published in literature (426 - 571 Pg). Nonetheless, our dataset increases knowledge on the spatial distribution of AGB compared to the global Forest Resources Assessment (FRA) by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and highlights the impact of a country’s national inventory capacity on the accuracy of the biomass statistics reported to the FRA. We also reassessed previous remote sensing AGB maps, and identify major biases compared to inventory data, up to 120% of the inventory value in dry tropical forests, in the sub-tropics and temperate zone. Because of the high level of detail and the overall reliability of the AGB spatial patterns, our global dataset of AGB is likely to have significant impacts on climate, carbon and socio-economic modelling schemes, and provides a crucial baseline in future carbon stock changes estimates. The dataset is available at: https://doi.pangaea.de/10.1594/PANGAEA.894711 (Santoro, 2018).

Year of Publication2021
JournalEarth System Science Data
Journal citation13 (8), p. 3927–3950
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/0.5194/essd-2020-148
Open accessPublished as green open access
FunderBiotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online11 Aug 2021
Publication process dates
Accepted26 Jun 2021
PublisherCopernicus Gesellschaft Mbh
ISSN1866-3508

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