Bias in leaf area - sapwood area ratios and its impacton growth analysis in Pinus contorta
Two alternative estimators of individual tree leaf area (A1) area are used to derive estimates of leaf-area index (L) for 40 plots in Pinus contorta Dougl. stands. One estimator of A1 is based on the common assumption of a constant ratio between A1 and sapwood cross-sectional area at breast height (As). The second estimator of A1 accounts for tree-to-tree variation in the relation between A1 and As. The apparent relationship between stand growth and leaf-area index is strongly dependent on the way leaf area is estimated. When L is derived from a constant A1∶As ratio, stand growth appears to be strongly correlated with L. However, when L is based on estmates of A1 that account for tree-to-tree variation in the A1 — As relation, stand growth is seen to be only weakly related to L. Stand structure, quantified as percent live-crown, accounts for a great deal of the observed variation in leaf-area efficiency. These contrasting relationships illustrate the importance of unbiased estimates of L in interpreting the link between stand-level processes and leaf area.
Dean, T.J., J.N. Long and F.W. Smith. 1988. Bias in leaf area - sapwood area ratios and its impact on growth analysis in Pinus contorta. Trees 2:104-109.