LEAF ARCHITECTURE AND NON- DESTRUCTIVE LAMINA AREA ESTIMATION IN BAUHINIA RACEMOSA LAMK.
The architecture and non-destructive lamina area estimation is described in Bauhinia racemosa Lamk. The graphically measured one-sided leaf area (LAM) of 50 individual leaves of Bauhinia racemosa Lamk. varied from 0.55 to 18.53cm2 (mean = 11.4179 ± 0.5586 cm2 ; CV = 34.60%). The overall leaf shape, as given by aspect ratios, appeared to be maintained with age. Based on the criterion of LAWG (1999), apex shape was, however, found to be lobed in 62% of the leaves, emarginate in 36 % of the leaves and retuse in 2% leaves (young ones). Apical and basal angles were wide obtuse but apical angle was substantially larger than basal angle. The Leaf length LL was determined as LL = LM + La + Lb where La was the apical leaf extension length and Lb the basal leaf extension length. Allometric methods such as simple linear, power model and mutiple correlation and regression analyses were employed using midrib length (LM), leaf breadth (LB) or leaf length (LL) or their multiplicative parameters (LM x LB or LL x LB) as independent variables against LAM in addition to the arithmatic methods to determine mulplication coefficients (leaf form factors) k and k? on the basis of k = Leaf area measured / (LM x LB) and k? = Leaf area measured / (LL x LB) were determined to arrive at simple and useful models to estimate lamina area. The power model was, the good fit model relating LAM with LM x LB or LL x LB. Amongst the two, LAM was obviously better correlated with LM x LB (R = 0.984; F = 1496.64, p < 0.0001) than LL x LB (R = 0.968; F = 712.92, p < 0.0001). k averaged to 1.2727 ± 0.0176 with variability around 9.78% only and k ? averaged to 0.787014 ± 0.01453 with variability around 13%. Comparison of various models indicated that power based models and arithmetic factors k and k? were the best fit to estimate leaf area in B. racemosa. The use of k in leaf area estimation appears to be more suitable as k? involves determination of leaf length, LL = LM + La + Lb, a cumbersome way to work with leaves attached with the plants.