U.S. Joint Fire Science Program


Date of this Version


Document Type



Final Report: JFSP Project No. 10-1-02-13


US government work.


Detailed and accurate models of conifer crown biomass and its distribution are needed for a range of forest management and planning applications, ranging from fuels treatment designs to forest carbon inventory and monitoring. This project focused on the development and integration of novel data collection strategies and analytical methods to better inform crown biomass and fuels estimation for coniferous forests in the interior northwest. Crown biomass data were collected for 7 important conifer species across the interior northwest using randomized branch sampling strategies, and terrestrial laser scanning was used to characterize crown profiles and internal heterogeneity. Results highlight (1) the crucial importance of collecting biomass and fuels data from large diameter trees; (2) the need to consider sampling error in validation of biomass equations; (3) the importance of height and crown length dimensions in prediction of crown biomass; (4) the non-geometric and species-specific character of conifer crown profiles; and (5) the non-uniform distribution of fuels within the crown envelope.