Allometric relations in Jatropha curcas production systems of Burkina Faso

Sophia Baumert, Asia Khamzina

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Our study addressed biomass dynamics in traditional and newly introduced Jatropha curcas production systems in Burkina Faso, West Africa. Five prevailing J.curcas systems included interplanting with annual crops, intensely managed plantations, afforestation of abandoned land, plantings along contour stone walls, and traditional living fences. Measurements of stem diameter, tree height (n=670) and above- and below-ground biomass (n=157) enabled the development of generic allometric models relating shoot and root biomass with stem diameter. The relations showed very good fits (R2>0.9) for all studied systems, except afforestation sites which largely perished. Considering system-specific height-diameter (HD) relationship improved the model performance for living fences where trees allocated more biomass in the height rather than diameter growth. Self-propagation in living fences results in variable stand density, tree age, and consequently shifting HD relations. Therefore these models would benefit from local calibrations should they be applied elsewhere. We argue that for the other systems the developed generic equations are applicable subject to accounting for the tree ontogenetic stages deduced from HD relations. In this respect, the allometric models for juvenile trees are most robust whereas overall validity range of the equations can be improved with more observations of large-size trees.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)95-104
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Arid Environments
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Sept 1
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We gratefully acknowledge the financial and logistical support of the Dreyer Foundation in Burkina Faso. Special thanks go to Véronique Kaboré, Sié Sib and Boubacar Barry for their help in Burkina Faso, and to all farmers for allowing the measurements in their fields. We are thankful to the Editor and two anonymous reviewers for the thorough consideration of our manuscript.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Elsevier Ltd.


  • Chronosequence
  • Height-diameter relationship
  • Power model
  • Root systems

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology
  • Earth-Surface Processes


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