Rangeland Ecology & Management

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Methods to Determine Biomass

Biomass can be determined using either direct or indirect sampling methods. Direct methods involve techniques that weigh or estimate the actual biomass of plants in quadrats. Indirect methods are based on developing a relationship between plant weight and an easier-to-measure attribute such as plant height, rainfall, or cover.

The most suitable approach to determine biomass in an inventory or monitoring program depends on the type of vegetation, skills of observers, sample size requirements, and time and budgetary constraints.

References and Further Reading

Bonham, C.D. 1989. Measurements of terrestrial vegetation. John Wiley Sons, New York, NY. pp 33-39.

Cook, C.W., and J. Stubbendieck. (eds). 1986. Range research: Basic problems and techniques. Society for Range Management, Denver, CO. pp 52-56.

Pieper, R.D. 1988. Rangeland vegetation productivity and biomass. In: P.T. Tueller. (ed). Vegetation science applications for rangeland analysis and management. Handbook of Vegetation Science, Volume 14. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht. pp 449-460.