USDA Forest Service
 

Pacific Southwest Research Station

 

Pacific Southwest Research Station
800 Buchanan Street
West Annex Building
Albany, CA 94710-0011

(510) 559-6300

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Urban Ecosystems and Social Dynamics

Urban Ecosystems and Processes

Evaluation of four methods for estimating leaf area of isolated trees

Summary

Abstract: The accurate modeling of the physiological and functional processes of urban forests requires information on the leaf area of urban tree species. Several non-destructive, indirect leaf area sampling methods have shown good perfromance for homogenous canopies. These methods have not been evaluated for use in urban settings where trees are typically isolated and measurement may be complicated by proximity to residential areas, buildings, signs, and other infrastructure elements. We evaluated the accuracy, precision, efficiency and other practical considerations associated with four methods of estimating the leaf area of open-grown deciduous trees in urban forests. The methods included color digital image processing (CD), the LAI-2000 Plant Canopy Analyzer, the CI-100 Digital Plant Canopy Imager, and a logarithmic regression equation. Regression coefficients, adjusted R2, and confidence intervals were used to determine the best method when using true leaf area of 25 Platanus x acerifolia Willd. and 25 Platanus racemosa Nutt. as an independent variable. Practical consideration included ease of data collection and processing and costs assocated with each method. The CD method and LAI-2000 estimates showed good correlation with true leaf area (R2.0.71); however, only the CD method produced estimates within 25 percent of mean true leaf area and met addition


Years of Research:  2005

Funded by:  USDA Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station, Davis, USA

Cooperators:  The authors are indebted to Linda George, Jason Weber, Sumer Seiki, and Vicki Fan for many hours of field work and leaf processing.

Products / Publications:

  1. Peper, P.J. and E.G. McPherson. 2003. Evaluations of four methods for estimating leaf area of isolated trees. Urban & Fischer Verlag - View Document [1.73 MB]

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