, Volume 32, Issue 6, pp 1669–1680 | Cite as

Allometric equations for estimating oil palm stem biomass in the ecological context of Benin, West Africa

  • Hervé Nonwègnon Sayimi AholoukpèEmail author
  • Bernard Dubos
  • Philippe Deleporte
  • Albert Flori
  • Lucien Guillaume Amadji
  • Jean-Luc Chotte
  • Didier Blavet
Original Article


Key message

The models we developed used palm stem diameter at 1.5 m, stem density measured by core sampling at 1.5 m, and the height of the palm to estimate palm stem biomass.


Allometric equations based on non-destructive methods were developed to estimate palm stem biomass. Twenty mature palms of different ages were subject to destructive and non-destructive measurements: stem height from the collar to the bottom of the frond at the 33rd position in the crown (frond 33), dry weight, the diameter and thickness of cylindrical slices sectioned at different heights along the stem, and the dry weight of samples of stem tissue taken from the core of each slice. The densities of the stem slices obtained using the destructive method (Dtrue) and the non-destructive method (Dcore) were linearly correlated: Dtrue = 1.062 × Dcore (R2 = 0.99) independently of the height, age and genetic origin of the palm. Stem density varied with height, reaching its maximum at around 1.5 m, after which it remained more or less constant to the top of the stem. Stem linear density (SLD) estimated from the product of the density and the section of the stem fell to a threshold value that remained more or less constant above 1.5 m. SLD between observed slices was estimated by interpolation based on a hyperbolic model to compute the true biomass of each palm. An equation derived from the integral of the hyperbolic model was fitted to estimate palm stem biomass as a function of wood density observed by non-destructive sampling at 1.5 m on the stem and of the diameter at the same height. With this equation, palm stem biomass can be estimated with an error of 5%.


Prediction models Aboveground biomass Wood density Oil palm Benin 



The authors wish to thank the institutions that provided material and financial support for this work, particularly the Oil Palm Research Center (Centre de Recherches Agricoles Plantes Pérennes CRAPP-Pobè/INRAB, Benin) and PalmElit which is a subsidiary of CIRAD (Centre de Coopération Internationale en Recherche Agronomique pour le Développement) in Montpellier/France. The authors also thank all the technicians in the Agronomy Division of CRAPP-Pobè, for their support during field work.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hervé Nonwègnon Sayimi Aholoukpè
    • 1
    Email author
  • Bernard Dubos
    • 2
  • Philippe Deleporte
    • 3
  • Albert Flori
    • 2
  • Lucien Guillaume Amadji
    • 4
  • Jean-Luc Chotte
    • 5
  • Didier Blavet
    • 5
  1. 1.Centre de Recherches Agricoles Plantes PérennesInstitut National des Recherches Agricoles du BéninPobèBenin
  2. 2.CIRADUPR Systèmes de pérennesMontpellierFrance
  3. 3.CIRADUMR Eco&Sols (Ecologie Fonctionnelle & Biogéochimie des Sols et des Agro-écosystèmes) INRA-IRD-SupAgro-CIRADMontpellier Cedex 2France
  4. 4.Faculté des Sciences AgronomiquesUniversité d’Abomey-Calavi, FSA/UACCotonouBenin
  5. 5.IRDUMR Eco&Sols (Ecologie Fonctionnelle & Biogéochimie des Sols et des Agro-écosystèmes) INRA-IRD-SupAgro-CIRADMontpellier Cedex 2France

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