Comparison of methods for estimating surface area of water-stressed and fully hydrated pine needle segments for gas exchange analysis

by Sven E. Svenson, and Fred T. Davies, Jr.

A nondestructive technique for repeatedly estimating total surface of water-stressed pine (Pinus taeda L.) fascicle segments was evaluated. Fascicle radius was measured with a digital caliper and needle surface area calculated on the assumption that the needles were segments of a cylinder. High correlations (r  0.94) were found between surface area estimated in this way and surface area calculated (a) from needle displacement, also on the assumption that needles are segments of a cylinder, and (b) from needle dry weight using a regression between dry weight and surface area estimated from needle displacement. The caliper-radius method gave slightly lower estimates of surface area than the other methods. However, differences among surface area estimates made with the three methods and between estimates made on water-stressed and fully hydrated needles were small relative to variances of leaf gas exchange measurements.

Tree Physiology 10, 417-421