Methods of estimating vegetation biomass are invaluable, as they allow the forecast of potential bioenergy production, the assessment of carbon sequestration and the sustainable planning of natural resources. Traditionally, biomass estimation procedures have been employing in situ measurements of plant characteristics, which accurately determine the current and predict potential biomass production. As remote sensing platforms and sensors evolve, earth observation is developing in a reliable source of information that can be used towards the same purpose.
Each European member-state, and particularly those in Eastern Europe and the Balkan peninsula, employ a variety of individual or combination of biomass estimation methods. This study focuses on the differences in the present status of terrestrial methods and earth observation techniques for biomass estimation in Greece and Europe. Information regarding the methods of biomass estimation was acquired through personal interviews with the directors of regional Greek Forest Service departments and supplemented by a thorough review of scientific and ‘gray’ literature. A comparison was also made with the state-of-the-art terrestrial and earth observation methods, applied in other European countries, for the same purpose. Recommendations on harmonizing remote sensing techniques to terrestrial methods, in order to achieve low cost and increased accuracy of biomass estimation, are finally proposed in this article.
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