Aboveground Biomass Assessment in Colombia: A Remote Sensing Approach


This paper presents a method to increase the level of detail of aboveground biomass estimates at a regional scale. Methods are based on empirical relationships while materials are based on MODIS products and field measurements; the area covers from 4° south up to 12° north of the Equator with a total of 1,139,012 km 2 corresponding to the continental area of Colombia. Vegetation was classified in three broad classes: grasslands, secondary forests and primary forests which have been proved to enhance biomass estimates. MOD44 vegetation continuous fields (VCFs) was used as an explanatory variable for primary and secondary forests following an exponential relationship, while MOD13A1 enhanced vegetation index (EVI) was used as explanatory variable for grasslands following a linear relationship; biomass for this vegetation class was estimated every 16 days given its large variation throughout the year. EVI-biomass relationships were established from 2001 to 2006. Vegetation maps were used to separate primary forests from secondary forest, since the latter has shown lower biomass levels. Confidence intervals of the exponential regression are larger as the biomass values increases, for this reason the uncertainty is quite high ranging from 3.7 to 25.2 millions of Mg with a mean of 16.2 million of Mg. Despite the uncertainty our biomass results are within the estimates of previous studies. © 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Forest Ecology and Management