Allometric relationships have been used widely as a fast approach to estimate biomass and leaf area in many plant species without destructive sampling. Several allometric functions have been developed to estimate above-ground biomass (AGB) in field-grown East African Highland Bananas (EAHB). However, it is not clear if these functions apply to potted apple bananas hence the need for this study. Plants were randomly selected from different treatments to make a representative sample (n=60) across the range of plant heights and vigor in the trial. For each plant, one fully expanded and unfurled leaf was randomly selected to measure and record its length (L) and width (W) at the widest point. The leaf was drawn to scale on squared paper to determine its true area, which was later compared with the area estimated as the product of L, W and an allometric correction factor. The existing and developed functions were evaluated qualitatively using unit plots and quantitatively using the root mean square error (RMSE) and squared correlation coefficient (r2). Girth at 30 cm (G-30) was the best (p<0.001 and R2 = 89%) input variable for estimating apple banana AGB. It was recommended that leaf area for the potted apple banana plants can be estimated using the existing function but the developed function should estimate AGB with G-30 as the independent variable.
Key words: Destructive sampling, dry matter accumulation, Musa spp-AAB, plant girth, plant height.
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