Skip to main content

Data for: Allometric relationships for eight species of 4–5 year old nitrogen-fixing and non-fixing trees

Cite this dataset

Carreras Pereira, K. A. et al. (2023). Data for: Allometric relationships for eight species of 4–5 year old nitrogen-fixing and non-fixing trees [Dataset]. Dryad.


Allometric equations are often used to estimate plant biomass allocation to different tissue types from easier-to-measure quantities. Biomass allocation, and thus allometric equations, often differs by species and sometimes varies with nutrient availability. We measured biomass components for five nitrogen-fixing tree species (Robinia pseudoacacia, Gliricidia sepium, Casuarina equisetifolia, Acacia koa, Morella faya) and three non-fixing tree species (Betula nigra, Psidium cattleianum, Dodonaea viscosa) grown in field sites in New York and Hawaii for 4–5 years and subjected to four fertilization treatments. We measured total aboveground biomass, foliar biomass, main stem biomass, secondary stem biomass, and twig biomass in all species, and belowground biomass in Robinia pseudoacacia and Betula nigra, along with basal diameter, height, and canopy dimensions. The individuals spanned a wide size range (<1 to 16 cm basal diameter and 0.24 to 8.8 m height). For each biomass component, aboveground biomass, belowground biomass, and total biomass, we determined the following four allometric equations: the most parsimonious (lowest AIC) overall, the most parsimonious without a fertilization effect, the most parsimonious without canopy dimensions, and an equation with basal diameter only. For some species, the most parsimonious overall equation included fertilization effects, but fertilization effects were inconsistent across fertilization treatments. We therefore concluded that fertilization does not clearly affect allometric relationships in these species, size classes, and growth conditions. Our best-fit allometric equations without fertilization effects had the following R2 values: 0.91–0.99 for aboveground biomass (the range is across species), 0.95 for belowground biomass, 0.80–0.96 for foliar biomass, 0.94–0.99 for main stem biomass, 0.77–0.98 for secondary stem biomass, and 0.88–0.99 for twig biomass. Our equations can be used to estimate overall biomass and biomass of tissue components for these size classes in these species, and our results indicate that soil fertility does not need to be considered when using allometric relationships for these size classes in these species.


National Science Foundation, Award: DEB-1457650

National Science Foundation, Award: DEB-1457444