Parameters to be Monitored for Biomass Carbon Inventory and Frequency of Monitoring

All the indicator parameters relevant to estimating the stocks of different carbon pools should be considered for periodical monitoring of different land-use category strata (Table 16.2). The selection of carbon pools for each land-use category would depend on the key category analysis. The following parameters could be considered for monitoring different carbon pools. The final selection of the parameters for field monitoring would depend on the land-use category and judgment of inventory experts.

The frequency of monitoring would vary with the carbon pool and the parameter. The frequency of monitoring different pools and parameters is discussed in Chapter 4. Normally, the above-ground biomass and soil carbon are the key pools for carbon inventory of forests, grassland and cropland categories. Above-ground biomass for tree species is monitored once in 2 or 3 years and soil organic carbon is monitored once in 3-5 years. This may be adequate for reporting GHG inventory. GHG inventory is made annually or for a selected year, but the year in which carbon inventory was undertaken for different carbon pools may be different and may require extrapolation or averaging.

Table 16.2 Parameters to be monitored for carbon inventory for different pools

Carbon pool

Vegetation type



Species name DBH and height Crown cover Species name

Above-ground biomass


Height and DBH, if relevant Density of plants/plot Fresh and dry weight of biomass Weight of the root

Below-ground biomass

Tree and non-tree

biomass in the soil core sample Volume of the core



Species name, DBH and height of dead and standing tree


Tree and non-tree

Standing litter weight in sample plots at different periods Depth of soil sample

Soil organic matter

All land-use

Bulk density of the soil Fresh weight


of the soil sample Organic matter content

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