Oil palm (Elaeis guineensis Jacq.) is a major raw material for biofuel and food industries in the world. In Brazil, cultivation of this species has evolved much in recent years, but basic information on its growth in the country is still scarce. This study analyzes the biomass and carbon storage in plants selected in three stands located in southern state of Bahia, northeastern Brazil, considering the full rotation cycle. Plants aging 3 to 36 years were cut and measured at biometric variables: Diameter at 50 cm from the ground level, crown diameter, stipe length and total height. Relationships among the biometric variables and the stipe, foliage, root, and total biomasses were analyzed. The Chapman & Richards model was fitted to the total biomass and carbon as a function of age. All the linear correlations between variables were significant at 95% probability. Total height and stipe length were more strongly correlated with age than with the diameter at 50 cm and crown diameter. The total biomass was highly correlated with the stipe variables and age. The percentage participation of stipe and total biomasses increases with age unlike the biomass foliage. The proportion of roots does not change with age. The total dry biomass and carbon stocks at the age of 25 years were estimated at ca. 90 and 35 t.ha-1, respectively. It was concluded that oil palm, because of its rapid growth and due to the fact that it is a permanent culture, is able to stock a high amount of biomass and carbon per unit area. If implemented in appropriate places, oil palm cannot be considered a carbon debt crop and represent an important alternative to regional socioeconomics.
Key words: Growth, oil palm, biomass expansion factor, biomass partitioning, biometric relationships.