Non-destructive methods for determining the biomass and leaf area of individual trees throughout their growing cycle are an essential tool in agroforestry research, but must be capable of providing reliable estimates despite the influence that management strategies such as pruning may have on tree form. In the present study, allometric methods involving measurements of the diameter of all branches provided reliable estimates of canopy leaf area and biomass for grevillea trees (Grevillea robusta A. Cunn.; Proteaceae) grown as poles, but proved unsuitable for routine measurements because of their time-consuming nature. An alternative, less laborious method based on measurements of trunk cross-sectional area immediately below the first branch of the canopy provided satisfactory allometric estimates of leaf area and canopy biomass. Trunk biomass was determined from measurements of tree height and diameter at breast height using established methodology based on the assumption that trunk volume may be calculated using a quadratic paraboloid model; biomass was determined as the product of trunk volume and the specific gravity of the wood. The theoretical basis, development and validation of allometric methods for estimating tree growth are discussed and their wider applicability to other agroforestry systems is assessed.
Agroforestry Systems (2000) 49 (1) 1-15 [DOI: 10.1023/A:1006330830109]