Rita Effah, MFS

2011 Compton Fellow in Ghana

Allometric equations for estimating aboveground biomass of an exotic timber species, Teak (Tectona grandis) grown in plantations in Ghana


Biomass of standing live trees customarily is assessed with the use of regression equations that relate easily measured variables, diameter at breast height (Dbh), and heights, to oven dry mass. Properly developed, such equations provide the most reliable means for estimating aboveground biomass of trees. Not only are such equations useful in conducting national and regional forest inventories, they also provide information on carbon storage for the sake of complying with REDD+ (Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation) MRV (Measuring, Reporting and Verification) mechanisms.

Since 1989, the Forestry Commission of Ghana has embarked on a large-scale tree plantation project to reforest degraded forestlands planting mostly teak.Teak has acclimatized well, and is widely grown in both industrial plantations and small community woodlots because of its immediate economic returns. In addition, these plantations are a source of carbon uptake, hence there is the need to evaluate how much carbon is being sequestered.

The objective of this research is to develop individual tree biomass equations for estimating and evaluating carbon storage of teak plantations in Ghana. Using randomized branch and antithetic sampling, samples were collected to model regression equations for stem, branch, and foliage biomass for each individual tree sampled. The samples are oven-dried to obtain the dry mass. Allometric equations for estimation of biomass of teak plantations will be calculated based on data collected from 150 trees across three regions of Ghana.