Kurz and Demaree (1934) believed curvature in buttressing was a function of the duration of time the trunk was exposed to various combinations of water and air.
In order to quantify buttressing and associated stem volume, the height and diameters of conical basal buttresses and connected tree boles can be transformed into frustums for calculating volumes and the volumes can be converted to ratios for each tree.
The main goals of this study were to: 1) Quantify buttress form and volume 2) analyze variation in the ratio of buttress volume to total-stem volume in baldcypress and 3) assess the site and tree variables associated with variation in percentage of tree stem biomass allocated to buttressing and buttress form across sites with different hydrological regimes.
The height of the buttressing, defined as the distance from the soil level to the height just above the buttress swell, was measured and recorded for use in volume estimation.
Thus volume estimation can be used as a surrogate for buttress and stem mass and as a viable measure of buttressing. The circumference measurements above buttressing and at soil level, and their ratios, as well as the height of buttresses, were used to create a buttress volume estimate.
Another measure of buttressing, the change in diameters with increasing height of buttressing was used to relate our measurements to previously observed buttress forms.