Biomass of Tropical Forests: A New Estimate Based on Forest Volumes

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Science  23 Mar 1984:
Vol. 223, Issue 4642, pp. 1290-1293
DOI: 10.1126/science.223.4642.1290


Recent assessments of areas of different tropical forest types and their corresponding stand volumes were used to calculate the biomass densities and total biomass of tropical forests. Total biomass was estimated at 205 x 109 tons, and weighted biomass densities for undisturbed closed and open broadleaf forests were 176 and 61 tons per hectare, respectively. These values are considerably lower than those previously reported and raise questions about the role of the terrestrial biota in the global carbon budget.