Aspen Bibliography

Effect of Calculation Technique on the Estimation of Leaf Area in a Mixed Deciduous Forest and Oak-Savanna Woodland of Southeastern North Dakota USA

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Prairie Naturalist





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Leaf area can be used to monitor plant growth and other parameters in ecosystems. Various estimation methods of leaf area have been developed. Unfortunately, most methods are either inaccurate, destructive, expensive, or exceedingly time-consuming. A multiple regression equation using length, width, and length x width was found to be the optimum model (method) to estimate leaf area for the seven temperate deciduous woody species examined. Highly significant R2 values indicated the model was valid for a variety of leaf sizes. The geometric leaf size classification system of Raunkiaer placed all species except Acer negundo (box elder) and Populus tremuloides (quaking aspen) in the mesophyll class (20.25-182.25 cm2 leaf area) based on actual leaf area measurements. The classical leaf area equation of Cain and Castro (Area = 0.667 x length x width) resulted in all species except Populus tremuloides being classified as mesophylls. The arithmetic leaf size classification system (25.0cm2 classes) divided the seven species into four classes. Fraxinus pennsylvanica (green ash) was the only species placed in a different arithmetic leaf size class based on the classical equation vs. the actual leaf area. The classical equation did not estimate leaf area adequately in the present study. The regression model offers a nondestructive, inexpensive, efficient, and accurate method to estimate leaf area of woody species of the oak-savanna and mixed deciduous forest sites of southeastern North Dakota.