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Allometric equations for estimating the aboveground volume of five common urban street tree species in Daegu, Korea

Quantifying urban tree biomass and carbon (C) storage by using allometric equations is required for various studies such as assessing the inventory, modelling, and measuring ecosystem services of urban trees. However, the lack of urban-specific allometric equations leads to uncertainty when estimating urban tree biomass and C storage. Therefore, we followed a nondestructive approach and developed allometric equations specifically for Acer buergerianum Miq., Ginkgo biloba L., Platanus orientalis L., Prunus yedoensis Matsum., and Zelkova serrata (Thunb.) Makino in Daegu, Korea. Diameter at breast height (DBH)-based and DBH-and-height-based allometric equations were highly accurate at estimating the aboveground volume (R2 > 0.92), while the allometric equations for P. orientalis and Z. serrata developed for traditional forests overestimated volume by 68% and 427%, respectively. The addition of a height variable into the DBH-based allometric equations did not increase the reliability of the allometric equations at a local level. The mean aboveground C storage of urban street trees was 24.9 Mg C/ha except for P. orientalis with a mean of 69.7 Mg C/ha, and the total aboveground C storage of urban street trees in Daegu was 10.6 Gg C. Alternatively, a generalized allometric equation which compiled species-specific equations can be applied for large-scale estimation. The generalized equations developed in this study and those found in the literature may suggest a constant value (∼2.3–2.4) for the scaling exponent in the generalized equations. Allometric equations developed from natural or artificial stands may overestimate the volume of urban street trees; therefore, estimating urban tree biomass and C storage requires urban-specific
allometric equations.
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