Radial Gradients in the Specific Gravity of Wood in Some Tropical and Temperate Trees
Pith to bark wood samples from 20 Costa Rican tropical wet forest and 17 United States temperate forest tree species showed wide variability in specific gravity trends among species. Specific gravity increased significantly from pith to bark in 16 of the tropical tree species. The increases were most dramatic (90-270%) in species that are typically colonizers of clearings and disturbed sites; species of later stages of succession showed moderate increases (20-70%) or, in some instances, no change in specific gravity from pith outward. Statistically significant linear pith to bark trends were found in only four temperate species--two of these increased specific gravity with diameter and two decreased. None of the temperate species showed a change greater than 40%, and no clear relationship between specific gravity pattern and shade tolerance was evident. In tropical wet forests, increase in wood specific gravity with diameter may be an adaptation by shade intolerant species to the highly competitive conditions on disturbed sites. For. Sci. 35(1):197-210.
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Document Type: Journal Article
Affiliations: Associate Professor, Department of Botany, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70803
Publication date: 1989-03-01
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