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Open AccessArticle

Assessment of the Carbon Stock in Pine Plantations in Southern Spain through ALS Data and K-Nearest Neighbor Algorithm Based Models

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Laboratory of Dendrochronology, Silviculture and Global Change, DendrodatLab-ERSAF, Department of Forest Engineering, University of Cordoba, Campus de Rabanales, Crta. IV, 14071 Córdoba, Spain
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Symbia Solutions. Parque Científico-Tecnológico Rabanales 21-Edificio Aldebarán. M1-05, 14014 Córdoba, Spain
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IDAF-Centre for Research Applied in Agroforestry Development. Campus de Rabanales, 14071 Córdoba, Spain
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Geosciences 2019, 9(10), 442; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences9100442
Received: 7 September 2019 / Revised: 6 October 2019 / Accepted: 12 October 2019 / Published: 17 October 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Properties, Developments and Processes of Soils as Carbon Sinks)
Accurate estimation of forest biomass to enable the mapping of forest C stocks over large areas is of considerable interest nowadays. Airborne laser scanning (ALS) systems bring a new perspective to forest inventories and subsequent biomass estimation. The objective of this research was to combine growth models used to update old inventory data to a reference year, low-density ALS data, and k-nearest neighbor (kNN) algorithm Random Forest to conduct biomass inventories aimed at estimating the C sequestration capacity in large Pinus plantations. We obtained a C stock in biomass (Wt-S) of 12.57 Mg·ha−1, ranging significantly from 19.93 Mg·ha−1 for P. halepensis to 49.05 Mg·ha−1 for P. nigra, and a soil organic C stock of the composite soil samples (0–40 cm) ranging from 20.41 Mg·ha−1 in P. sylvestris to 37.32 Mg·ha−1 in P. halepensis. When generalizing these data to the whole area, we obtained an overall C-stock value of 48.01 MgC·ha−1, ranging from 23.96 MgC·ha−1 for P. halepensis to 58.09 MgC·ha−1 for P. nigra. Considering the mean value of the on-site C stock, the study area sustains 1,289,604 Mg per hectare (corresponding to 4,732,869 Mg CO2), with a net increase of 4.79 Mg·ha−1·year−1. Such C cartography can help forest managers to improve forest silviculture with regard to C sequestration and, thus, climate change mitigation. View Full-Text
Keywords: airborne laser scanning; forest inventory; Pinus plantations; C stocks; k-nearest neighbor; forest management airborne laser scanning; forest inventory; Pinus plantations; C stocks; k-nearest neighbor; forest management
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Navarrete-Poyatos, M.A.; Navarro-Cerrillo, R.M.; Lara-Gómez, M.A.; Duque-Lazo, J.; Varo, M.A.; Palacios Rodriguez, G. Assessment of the Carbon Stock in Pine Plantations in Southern Spain through ALS Data and K-Nearest Neighbor Algorithm Based Models. Geosciences 2019, 9, 442.

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