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Estimates of the leaf area of forage peanut for use in morphogenetic assessment

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Abstract

Understanding the morpho-physiological responses of forage plants is critical for successfully managing pastures; however, there is no specific method for morphogenetically assessing Arachis pintoi. The present study aimed to develop and validate mathematical models to estimate leaf area in A. pintoi to enable assessments of leaf elongation and senescence. Two experiments were performed. The first experiment used 500 A. pintoi leaves to model leaf area. Three models were used: correlation, mechanistic and empirical. A total of 336 leaflets were collected to validate the models. For the second experiment, 786 leaflet pairs were collected to test the leaf symmetry. Leaf length (L), width (W) and area (A) were measured for each leaflet in both of the experiments. The model identity test was used. The leaflet area can be estimated using the following formula:  = W ×L × 0·25 × π. Experiment 2 showed that the initial leaflet pairs were equal, as were the terminal leaflet pairs. In conclusion, the mechanistic model should be used to estimate the leaf area for A. pintoi, and only half of each leaf can be measured.

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