Allometric models to estimate foliage biomass of Tamarindus indica in Burkina Faso
Tamarindus indica L. is a multi-purpose tropical species. In West Africa the local people use its leaves daily as a source of food, medicine and income. To prevent the over-exploitation of this species for its use for non-timber forest products, the estimation of foliage production needs to be adressed. This study aimed to (1) assess the effects of distribution zone and tree size on foliage production of T. indica in Burkina Faso, and (2) develop allometric equations to estimate foliage biomass of this species. A semi-destructive method was used to assess foliage biomass of 120 trees over six stem-diameter size classes within two distribution zones (Sub-Sahelian and North-Sudanian). A two-way ANOVA was perfomed to test the effect of distribution zone and tree size class on foliage production. Allometric equations were fitted with 80% of the sample trees randomly selected and 20% were used for model validation. The results showed that between the two factors, tree size class exhibited a significant effect on foliage production of T. indica both in the Sub-Sahelian and North-Sudanian zones. Allometric equations to predict the foliage biomass of T. indica were similar for its distribution zones in Burkina Faso. Therefore, a general model is adequate for the prediction of foliage biomass of T. indica at a larger scale including a variety of ecological conditions. Stem diameter at 1.3 m aboveground was the most accurate predictor variable (adjusted R² = 0.81) with a prediction error of −2.76%. This study opens up new potentials to develop and use allometric equations for West African trees of high socio-economic value in their effective and sustainable use for non-timber forest products.
Keywords: distribution zone, multi-purpose species, non-timber forest products, predictor variable