Evaluation of three techniques for measuring grass leaf area

C. W. Daphne, P. J K Zacharias, Alan Christopher Hansen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Three leaf area measuring techniques were compared. Although statistical considerations received priority, practical issues such as economy of time, labour and finance, were also evaluated. The electronic light interception planimeter and the squared grid method (SGM) are already in common use, while computer-aided image analysis (CAIA) is relatively unknown for grasses. Results indicated that the planimeter is significantly (P^SO.Ol) less precise and accurate than the other techniques, between which no significant (P>0.05) differences were detected. Individual SGM operators, although highly consistent within themselves, differed significantly (P^O.Ol) in their respective abilities to measure absolute leaf area. It was concluded that, on a practical basis, the planimeter and CAIA were likely to be the most efficient in the long term, with CAIA being more reliable. Under situations of limited finance and equipment, the SGM would seem to be a viable alternative.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13-18
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the Grassland Society of Southern Africa
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1991
Externally publishedYes


  • Image analysis
  • Planimeter
  • Squared grid method
  • Statistical comparisons

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology
  • Animal Science and Zoology


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