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An inventory of the vegetation types of Castelporziano Estate (Rome), including examples of Mediterranean ecosystems in excellent preserved condition, was compiled. Because Leaf Area Index (LAI) changed with forest structure and developmental stages, maximum LAI provided a good estimate of maximum biomass accumulation. Plant biomass estimation, ranging from 61 tons ha-1 to 360 tons ha-1, fitted well into 14 biomass classes; the highest values (from 301 tons ha-1 to 360 tons ha-1) were related to stratified forested vegetation types, including the more mature Pinus pinea plantations, Quercus ilex evergreen forests and broad leaf mixed forests. LAI ranged from 0.5 to 4.5, and changed with forest structure, increasing with the increase of plant biomass. Leaf area index measurements fitted well into nine LAI classes, and the highest values were related to the stratified vegetation types. Biomass and LAI maps might be employed as a computerised mapped information system for natural resource policy, regional planning, and landscape management. Long-term monitoring may easily be achieved by LAI measurements which can be converted to biomass values by the identified relationship between plant biomass and LAI.

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© 2000 Loretta Gratani, Maria Fiore Crescente

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

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