This preliminary studies of growth parameters of four tropical tree species: Prosopis africana, Terminalis glaucescence, Pterocarpus erinaceus and Anogeisus leiocarpusis unique in the use of von Bertalanffy Growth Model (VBGM). This research is aimed at pioneering the use of VBGM in studying growth parameters and population dynamics of trees.Each tree species was sampled from two sites: Ruwan Kanwa (S1) and Dokolo (S2) in Taraba state, Nigeria. The trees’ annular rings were used in determining the age of the trees.The trees’ circumferences at Breast Height were measured. The results obtained for the four tree speciesare Asymptotic Circumference (Cinfin cm), Growth Curvature (K per year) and Life Span (tmax in years). For P. africana (S1:Cinf = 347.52; K= 0.0813;tmax = 36.90; S2:Cinf = 164.80; K= 0.0825; tmax = 36.36),T. Glaucescence (S1:Cinf = 261.54; K= 0.0634; tmax = 47.32; S2:Cinf = 258.59; K= 0.05; tmax = 60.00),A. leiocarpus (S1: Cinf = 236.0176; K= 0.0626; tmax = 47.92; S2:Cinf = 261.54; K= 0.0634; tmax = 47.32)and P. Erinaceus (S1: Cinf = 298.06; K= 0.0788; tmax =38.07 ; S2:Cinf = 248.95; K= 0.0787; tmax = 38.12). Study of this nature could be a guide for carrying out molecular genetic analysis on trees for identifying genes contributing to the characters predicted by VBGM. Similar research should be intensified as to generate database of growth parameters of tropical trees to enhance objective decision making in selection of tree speciesfor breeding.
Key Words: Von Bertalanffy Growth Model, Growth parameters, Selection, Tropical Trees, Breeding