Journal of Oil Palm Research Vol. 24  2012 December p.  1473-1479

The estimation of frond base biomass (FBB) of oil palm

Author(s): HENSON Ian Eugene * ; BETITIS, Thomas ** ; TOMDA, Yanding ** ; CHASE, Laurence D.G ‡

Increasing attention is being focused on the greenhouse gas (GHG) balance of crop production given the need to minimise emissions associated with global warming and climate change. Such emissions can be countered by growing crops such as oil palm that have a high capacity to sequester carbon. The ability to accurately determine carbon sequestration by the crop thus becomes increasingly important. In the case of oil palm, methods of estimating crop biomass are well developed. However, there are still improvements to be made to ensure a complete assessment of carbon stock. This article examines the role carbon sequestration played by frond bases of oil palm that remain attached to the trunk after frond pruning, and which are frequently ignored when assessing standing palm biomass and carbon stock. Data on frond base biomass (FBB) are reviewed, methods for its assessment are discussed, and its importance for calculating carbon sequestration and net carbon balance of oil palm plantations are examined. Carbon sequestration in the plantation for four mills in Papua New Guinea, with a mean crop rotation time of 21 years in their contributing estates was increased by an average of 11% after including FBB in the calculation of standing carbon.

Keywords: , , ,

Author Information
* No. 7, Richmond Dale, Bristol, BS8 2UB, United Kingdom.

** New Britain Palm Oil Ltd, Dami Oil Palm Research Station, PO Box 165, West New Britain , Papua New Guinea.

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