Contrasted allometries between stem diameter, crown area, and tree height in five tropical biogeographic areas

Blanchard Elodie, Birnbaum Philippe, Ibanez Thomas, Boutreux Thomas, Antin Cécile, Ploton Pierre, Vincent Grégoire, Pouteau Robin, Vandrot Hervé, Hequet Vanessa, Barbier Nicolas, Droissart Vincent, Sonké Bonaventure, Texier Nicolas, Kamdem Narcisse Guy, Zebaze Donatien, Libalah Moses, Couteron Pierre. 2016. Contrasted allometries between stem diameter, crown area, and tree height in five tropical biogeographic areas. Trees, 30 (6) : pp. 1953-1968.

Journal article ; Article de revue à facteur d'impact
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Quartile : Q1, Sujet : FORESTRY

Abstract : Tree crowns play a central role in stand dynamics. Remotely sensed canopy images have been shown to allow inferring stand structure and biomass which suggests that allometric scaling between stems and crowns may be tight, although insufficiently investigated to date. Here, we report the first broad-scale assessment of stem vs. crown scaling exponents using measurements of bole diameter (DBH), total height (H), and crown area (CA) made on 4148 trees belonging to 538 species in five biogeographic areas across the wet tropics. Allometries were fitted with power functions using ordinary least-squares regressions on log-transformed data. The inter-site variability and intra-site (sub-canopy vs. canopy trees) variability of the allometries were evaluated by comparing the scaling exponents. Our results indicated that, in contrast to both DBH-H and H-CA allometries, DBH-CA allometry shows no significant inter-site variation. This fairly invariant scaling calls for increased effort in documenting crown sizes as part of tree morphology. Stability in DBH-CA allometry, indeed, suggests that some universal constraints are sufficiently pervasive to restrict the exponent variation to a narrow range. In addition, our results point to inverse changes in the scaling exponent of the DBH-CA vs. DBH-H allometries when shifting from sub-canopy to canopy trees, suggesting a change in carbon allocation when a tree reaches direct light. These results pave the way for further advances in our understanding of niche partitioning in tree species, tropical forest dynamics, and to estimate AGB in tropical forests from remotely sensed images. (Résumé d'auteur)

Mots-clés Agrovoc : forêt tropicale, Forêt, écosystème forestier, Allométrie, Biogéographie, Anatomie végétale, Houppier, Tronc, Croissance, Morphologie végétale, Lumière du jour

Mots-clés complémentaires : Architecture des arbres, Architecture forestière, Architecture végétale, Ontogénie

Mots-clés libres : Allometry, Tree architecture, Stem size, Ontogeny, Crown light exposure, Rainforest

Classification Agris : K01 - Forestry - General aspects
F40 - Plant ecology
F62 - Plant physiology - Growth and development
F50 - Plant structure

Champ stratégique Cirad : Axe 6 (2014-2018) - Sociétés, natures et territoires

Auteurs et affiliations

  • Blanchard Elodie, IAC (NCL)
  • Birnbaum Philippe, CIRAD-BIOS-UMR AMAP (NCL)
  • Ibanez Thomas, IAC (NCL)
  • Boutreux Thomas, IAC (NCL)
  • Antin Cécile, IRD (FRA)
  • Ploton Pierre, IRD (FRA)
  • Vincent Grégoire, IRD (FRA)
  • Pouteau Robin, IAC [International Agricultural Centre] (NLD)
  • Vandrot Hervé, IAC (NCL)
  • Hequet Vanessa, IRD (FRA)
  • Barbier Nicolas, IRD (FRA)
  • Droissart Vincent, IRD (FRA)
  • Sonké Bonaventure, Université de Yaoundé (CMR)
  • Texier Nicolas, IRD (FRA)
  • Kamdem Narcisse Guy, University of Yaounde 1 (CMR)
  • Zebaze Donatien, Université de Yaoundé (CMR)
  • Libalah Moses, University of Yaounde 1 (CMR)
  • Couteron Pierre, IRD (FRA)

Source : Cirad-Agritrop (

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