Peter Umunay, MFS

2013 TRI Fellow in Democratic Republic of Congo

Developing Allometric Models for the Estimation of Aboveground Biomass in Natural Tropical Forest of the Democratic Republic of Congo

The Congo Basin rain forests store large amounts of carbon and need accurate allometric models for their estimation. They are a significant carbon pool influencing the global terrestrial carbon cycle, and by implication, aspects of climate change. Estimation of carbon stocks is based on understanding allometric relationships between the dimensions of trees (diameter, height and wood density) and biomass. The absence of appropriate allometric equations has led to broad use of pan moist tropical equations. The use of such general models has raised questions on the accuracy of the resulting predictions of standing biomass, since equations were derived from biomass collected outside Africa. My research is geared towards developing more accurate allometric equations using common tree species from DRC by using both randomized branch and antithetic sampling techniques to sample for the total aboveground components. The results from this research will have significant implication for re-estimation of standing biomass for rain forest in the Congo Basin.