Leaf Area, Fresh Weight and Dry Weight Prediction Models for Ornamental Plants Ficus benjamina (cv. Starlight)
Measurements of leaf growth indices namely leaf area, fresh weight and dry weight are of value in physiological studies and plant growth estimation. The use of prediction models to estimate leaf area, fresh weight and dry weight is simple, rapid and non-destructive. Several mathematical functions have been formulated for estimating leaf area, fresh weight and dry weight of various crops but almost there is no information for Ficus benjamina. This work was aimed to propose leaf area (LA), fresh weight (FW) and dry weight (DW) prediction models for Ficus benjamina (cv. Starlight) leafy ornamental pot plant using leaf length (L) and width (W). 1000 leaves were collected randomly from greenhouse grown plants and 700 of cuts were used for prediction models. LA was measured with a digital area meter (DELTA-T, Co. Durham, UK), related FW and DW also were weighted and leaf dimensions were determined by the ruler. For each studying growth index LA, FW and DW the predictive abilities of three regression equations (linear, polynomial and power) were compared with different independent variables for each equation. Leaf length × width provided a good estimation of leaf area and fresh weight of the leaves of Ficus benjamina. It was also concluded that leaves the dry weight of Ficus benjamina can be estimated or simulated as a power function of L×W or L+W with reasonable accuracy. Moreover, a reasonable relationship between leaf fresh weight and leaf area was found too.
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