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Assessing allometric models to predict vegetative growth of mango (Mangifera indica; Anacardiaceae) at the current-year branch scale

Normand F., Lauri P.E.. 2012. American Journal of Botany, 99 (3) : p. 425-437.

DOI: 10.3732/ajb.1100249

Premise of the study: Accurate and reliable predictive models are necessary to estimate nondestructively key variables for plant growth studies such as leaf area and leaf, stem, and total biomass. Predictive models are lacking at the current-year branch scale despite the importance of this scale in plant science. Methods: We calibrated allometric models to estimate leaf area and stem and branch (leaves + stem) mass of current-year branches, i.e., branches several months old studied at the end of the vegetative growth season, of four mango cultivars on the basis of their basal cross-sectional area. The effects of year, site, and cultivar were tested. Models were validated with independent data and prediction accuracy was evaluated with the appropriate statistics. Key results: Models revealed a positive allometry between dependent and independent variables, whose y -intercept but not the slope, was affected by the cultivar. The effects of year and site were negligible. For each branch characteristic, cultivar-specifi c models were more accurate than common models built with pooled data from the four cultivars. Prediction quality was satisfactory but with data dispersion around the models, particularly for large values. Conclusions: Leaf area and stem and branch mass of mango current-year branches could be satisfactorily estimated on the basis of branch basal cross-sectional area with cultivar-specifi c allometric models. The results suggested that, in addition to the heteroscedastic behavior of the variables studied, model accuracy was probably related to the functional plasticity of branches in relation to the light environment and/or to the number of growth units composing the branches.

Mots-clés : mangifera indica; modèle mathématique; croissance; modèle de simulation; ramification; surface foliaire; tige; allométrie; réunion; france

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