1. General Model Information

Name: Software for Computing Plant Biomass

Acronym: BIOPAK

Main medium: terrestrial
Main subject: biogeochemistry
Organization level: individual plant
Type of model: not specified
Main application:
Keywords: plant allometry, biomass, plant components, plant volume, crown volume, leaf area, roots, prediction equations


Donald Henshaw
Forestry Sciences Laboratory
3200 Jefferson Way
Corvallis, Oregon 97331, U.S.A.
DG: S26L05A
Phone 541-750-7335,
Fax 541-750-7329
Email: henshaw@fsl.orst.edu

The Forest Resources Systems Institute
122 Helton Court
Florence, Alabama 35630
Phone: (205) 767-0250
Fax (205) 767-3768


Joseph E. Means


BIOPAK (Means, et al. 1994) is a menu-driven package of computer programs for personal computers that calculates the biomass, area, height, length, or volume of plant components (leaves, branches, stem, crown, and roots) using existing prediction equations. It has application in ecosystem studies for calculating biomass allocation, productivity and leaf area; in wildlife and entomology studies for calculating foliage area, and browse (e.g., foliage + small twigs), fruit and inflorescence mass; and fire management for calculating fuels of live plants by size classes.

BIOPAK requires a prediction equation for every plant component to be estimated. Most of the 1150 equations in the equation library currently available as part of BIOPAK were developed in the Pacific Northwest, including southeast Alaska. Some are from the northern Rocky Mountains and the Sierra Nevada Mountains. When appropriate equations are available, they can be added to this library, or new libraries can be created for other regions of the world, using the Library Editor.

BIOPAK was created to facilitate linking of a diverse array of vegetation datasets with the appropriate subset of available equations for estimating plant components, such as biomass and leaf area. BIOPAK produces reports that are formatted for people and files that are compatible with other software. Other reports document the design of a computation run and the equations used.

Means et al. (1996) describe the use of BIOPAK for estimating fuels of live shrubs and herbs in standard fuels size classes. A new equation library, FUELLIB, contains about 300 equations for estimating fuels for species of the Pacific Northwest and northern Rocky Mountains. Publications can be obtained as described below.

Source of the abstract with more information: BIOPAK homepage by J.E. Means, 1997

II. Technical Information

II.1 Executables:

Operating System(s): DOS

II.2 Source-code:

Programming Language(s): All BIOPAK software and libraries are available from the Forestry Sciences Laoratory in Corvallis, Oregon (download without technical support).

II.3 Manuals:

The BIOPAK Users Guide can be ordered free of charge from: Publications
Pacific Northwest Forest Research Station
P.O. Box 3890
Portland, Oregon 97208-3890
Phone: 503-326-7128
Fax: 503-326-2455

II.4 Data:

III. Mathematical Information

III.1 Mathematics

III.2 Quantities

III.2.1 Input

III.2.2 Output

IV. References

Means, Joseph E.; Olga N. Krankina; Hao Jiang and Hongyan Li. 1996. Estimating live fuels for shrubs and herbs with BIOPAK. Gen. Tech. Rep. PNW-GTR-372. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. 21 p.

Means, Joseph E., Heather A. Hansen, Greg J. Koerper, Paul B. Alaback, Mark W. Klopsch. 1994. Software for computing plant biomass--BIOPAK users guide. Gen. Tech. Rep. PNW-GTR-340. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. 180 p.

V. Further information in the World-Wide-Web

VI. Additional remarks

Last review of this document by: Juergen Bierwirth, Mon Feb 01 16:38:10 CET 1999
Status of the document:
last modified by Tobias Gabele Wed Aug 21 21:44:39 CEST 2002

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