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Variation in wood density components within and between Quercus faginea trees

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The wood of Quercus faginea Lam. was studied regarding its density variation within and between trees using microdensitometry techniques in 10 trees growing in northern Portugal. The observations were made in mature trees at several height levels (stem base and 1.3, 3.4, 5.5, 7.6, and 9.7 m). Variance analysis was done considering the core cylinder (first 15 rings) and the sheath (last 10 rings) in relation to tree, height level, and ring effects and their interactions. The wood revealed a high mean density of 0.848 g·cm–3 with small differences between earlywood and latewood (0.717 and 0.908 g·cm–3, respectively). Latewood corresponded on average to 66% of the total ring width, which averaged 2.4 mm. Wood density decreased with height and radially from pith to cambium. However, within-tree variation was of very moderate magnitude although higher for juvenile wood. Variation between trees was also small (6% coefficient of variation of the mean) and higher for the mature wood. Quercus faginea wood compares favourably with other oak species with regard to density characteristics and may be considered for production of quality solid wood products.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Centro de Estudos Florestais, Instituto Superior de Agronomia, Universidade Técnica de Lisboa, Lisboa, Portugal. 2: CITAB/Departamento Florestal, Universidade de Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro, Vila Real, Portugal.

Publication date: 2011-06-26

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