Plant Age Has a Minor Effect on Non-Destructive Leaf Area Calculations in Moso Bamboo (Phyllostachys edulis)

2021 | journal article. A publication with affiliation to the University of Göttingen.

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​Plant Age Has a Minor Effect on Non-Destructive Leaf Area Calculations in Moso Bamboo (Phyllostachys edulis)​
Huang, L.; Niinemets, Ü.; Ma, J.; Schrader, J.; Wang, R. & Shi, P.​ (2021) 
Symmetry13(3) pp. 369​.​ DOI: 

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Huang, Lichao; Niinemets, Ülo; Ma, Jianzhong; Schrader, Julian; Wang, Rong; Shi, Peijian
Leaf area is among the most important leaf functional traits, and it determines leaf temperature and alters light harvesting. The calculation of individual leaf area is the basis of calculating the leaf area index (i.e., the total leaf area per unit ground area) that is directly associated with the ability of plants to intercept light for photosynthesis. It is valuable to provide a fast and reliable approach to measuring leaf area. Here, we examined the validity and calculation accuracy of the Montgomery equation (ME), which describes the area of a leaf as a product of leaf length, width and a specific coefficient referred to as the Montgomery parameter, MP. Using ME, we calculated leaf areas of different age groups of bamboo culms. For most broad-leaved plants, leaf area is proportional to the product of leaf length and width, and MP falls within a range of 1/2 to π/4, depending on leaf shape. However, it is unknown whether there is an intra-specific variation in MP resulting from age structure and whether such a variation can significantly reduce the predictability of ME in calculating leaf area. This is relevant as a population of perennial plants usually composes of different age groups. We used Moso bamboos as model as this species is of ecological and economic importance in southern China, and pure stands can cover six to seven plant age groups. We used five age groups of moso bamboo and sampled 260–380 leaves for each group to test whether ME holds true for each group and all groups combined, whether there are significant differences in MP among different age groups, and whether the differences in MP can lead to large prediction errors for leaf area. We observed that for each age group and all groups combined, there were significant proportional relationships between leaf area and the product of leaf length and width. There were small but significant differences in MP among the five age groups (MP values ranged from 0.6738 to 0.7116 for individual plant ages; MP = 0.6936 for all age groups combined), which can be accounted for by the minor intergroup variation of leaf shape (reflected by the leaf width/length ratio). For all age classes, MP estimated for the pooled data resulted in <4% mean absolute percentage error, indicating that the effect of variation in MP among different age groups was small. We conclude that ME can serve as a useful tool for accurate calculations of leaf area in moso bamboo independent of culm age, which is valuable for estimation of leaf area index as well as evaluating the productivity and carbon sequestration capacity of bamboo forests.
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Fakultät für Forstwissenschaften und Waldökologie ; Burckhardt-Institut ; Abteilung Biodiversität, Makroökologie und Biogeographie 



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