Great Basin Naturalist


The ability to measure leaf area and biomass on a plant community basis has many important ecological applications. These include quantification of gas exchange, use of water resources on the site, nutrient pools, and construction of models simulating production and resource allocation. To test a nondestructive technique for estimating leaf area and leaf biomass of western juniper (Juniperus occidentalis Hook.), sapwood area and basal circumference were evaluated as predictors of total leaf biomass and leaf area. Nineteen trees, ranging in size from 9.0 to 263 cm in circumference, were destructively sampled. The entire leaf biomass was harvested and measured, and regression equations were developed. Both sapwood area and basal circumference significantly (P < .01) correlated with projected leaf area and leaf biomass (r values = 0.98).