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Allometry to estimate leaf area of tomato.

Possibilities and limits of leaf area determination without destruction of leaves were examined. Length and width of tomato leaves (Lycopersicon spp.) were measured in different experiments. Allometry was examined, and its robustness was analyzed against treatment factors including genotype, salinity of the nutrient solution, growing system, and date of measurement. Total leaf length alone explained 75 % of tomato leaf area variance. Length from the rhachis to the distal end of the petiole had the same variance as total length. Leaf area estimation was much better using only leaf width, which accounted for 90 % of leaf area variance. No further improvement of estimation was possible by using both length and width. Leaf area estimation from leaf length or width was robust across treatment factors investigated, including growing system, salinity of nutrient solution, and for different measurement date. On the other hand, use of an universal relationship may lead to a considerable systematic error of estimation of leaf area for some genotypes and during strong changes in assimilate partitioning.

Schwarz, D.; Kläring, H.-P. 2001. Allometry to estimate leaf area of tomato. Journal of Plant Nutrition 24 (8), 1291-1309.