Notes: Comparison of Two Techniques for Measuring Surface Area of Conifer Needles

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Two approaches to estimating surface area of conifer needles were evaluated: an optical projection technique (optical planimeter) focusing light through a plane surface to a photocell, and covering the needle surface with an adhesive and a monolayer of glass beads and measuring weight increase. On 20 clusters of Douglas-fir foliage, the optical planimeter was more precise (95 percent confidence interval 0.6 cm² compared to 2.0 cm²), but the glass-bead method was judged slightly more accurate. However, a needle cross-sectional correction factor introduced to optical planimeter results improved accuracy. Forest Sci. 21:231-232.

Keywords: Optical planimeter; glass-bead technique

Document Type: Miscellaneous

Affiliations: Research Assistant, Coniferous Forest Biome, International Biological Program, Forest Research Laboratory, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon 97331

Publication date: September 1, 1975

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