Forest biomass is an essential indicator for monitoring the Earth's ecosystems and climate. It is a critical input to greenhouse gas accounting, estimation of carbon losses and forest degradation, assessment of renewable energy potential, and for developing climate change mitigation policies such as REDD+, among others. Wall-to-wall mapping of aboveground biomass (AGB) is now possible with satellite remote sensing (RS). However, RS methods require extant, up-to-date, reliable, representative and comparable in situ data for calibration and validation. Here, we present the Forest Observation System (FOS) initiative, an international cooperation to establish and maintain a global in situ forest biomass database. AGB and canopy height estimates with their associated uncertainties are derived at a 0.25 ha scale from field measurements made in permanent research plots across the world's forests. All plot estimates are geolocated and have a size that allows for direct comparison with many RS measurements. The FOS offers the potential to improve the accuracy of RS-based biomass products while developing new synergies between the RS and ground-based ecosystem research communities.
Bibliographical noteThis study has been partly supported by the IFBN (4000114425/15/NL/FF/gp) and CCI Biomass (4000123662/18/I-NB) projects funded by ESA; the Austrian Federal Ministry of Science and Research (BMWF-4.409/30-II/4/2009); the Austrian Academy of Sciences (ÖAW2007-11); the Research Project AGL2009-08562, Ministry of Science’s Research and Development, Spain; the Project LIFE+ “ForBioSensing PL Comprehensive monitoring of stand dynamics in Białowieża Forest supported with remote sensing techniques” cofounded by Life+ UE program (contract number LIFE13 ENV/PL/000048) and The National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management in Poland (contract number 485/2014/WN10/OP-NM-LF/D); the Brazilian National Council of Science and Technology (PVE project #401279/2014-6 and PELD (LTER) project #441244/2016-5); USAID (1993–2006); Brazilian National Council of Science and Technology-CNPq (Processes 481097/2008-2, 201138/2012-3); Foundation for Research Support of the State of Sao Paulo-FAPESP (Processes 2013/16262-4, 2013/50718-5). European Research Council Advanced Grant T-FORCES (291585); the Russian State Assignment of the CEPF RAS no. АААА-А18-118052400130-7. The Russian Science Foundation supported data processing of the plot data from Russia (project no. 19-77-30015). We would like to thank Shell Gabon and the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute for funding the collection of the RABI data (contribution No 172 of the Gabon Biodiversity Program). We would also like to thank Alexander Parada Gutierrez, Javier Eduardo Silva-Espejo, Jon Lloyd, and Olaf Banki for sharing their plot data. JC is funded by Agence Nationale de la Recherche (CEBA, ref. ANR-10-LABX-25-01; TULIP: ANR-10-LABX-0041).
- forest ecology
- ABOVEGROUND BIOMASS