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Sensitivity Analysis and Evaluation of Forest Biomass Production Potential Using SWAT Model

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DOI: 10.4236/jsbs.2014.42013    3,274 Downloads   4,475 Views   Citations

ABSTRACT

Sensitivity analysis of crop parameters and the performance of SWAT (Soil and Water Assessment Tool) model to simulate potential forest biomass production were evaluated for the Upper Pearl River Watershed (UPRW). Local sensitivity analysis of seven crop parameters: radiation use efficiency (kg/ha)/(MJ/m2) (BIOE), potential maximum leaf area index for the plant (BLAI), fraction of growing season at which senescence becomes the dominant growth process (DLAI), fraction of the maximum plant leaf area index corresponding to the 1st point on the optimal leaf area development curve (LAIMX1), fraction of growing season corresponding to the 1st point on the optimal leaf area development curve (FRGRW1), plants potential maximum canopy height (m) (CHTMX), and maximum rooting depth for plant (mm) (RDMX) reveals that only three parameters: DLAI, BIOE and BLAI are sensitive to forest biomass production. Further, results indicate moderate sensitivity of DLAI and BIOE and low sensitivity of BLAI with relative sensitivity index of 0.44, 0.35 and 0.14, respectively. The performance of SWAT to simulate potential forest biomass was evaluated by comparing simulated data against three years of observed data that were obtained from USDA Forest Service website. The results indicate satisfactory performance of SWAT in predicting potential forest biomass, which is shown by the high value of coefficient of determination (R2 = 0.83), small root mean square error (RMSE = 11.11 Mg/ha), and small difference between mean. Results also reveal that the UPRW has the potential to produce approximately 49 Mg/ha of average forest biomass annually, which is approximately 6% less than the observed biomass.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

Khanal, S. and Parajuli, P. (2014) Sensitivity Analysis and Evaluation of Forest Biomass Production Potential Using SWAT Model. Journal of Sustainable Bioenergy Systems, 4, 136-147. doi: 10.4236/jsbs.2014.42013.

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