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Variation in Selected Wood Properties of Vochysia Guatemalensis from Four Sites in Costa Rica

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Vochysia guatemalensis D. Smith is distributed naturally from Mexico to Panama. It is a promising species for commercial reforestation on degraded lands, but little is known about the variation in important wood traits. Trees of this species were sampled in four natural stands to estimate the variation and radial gradients in wood specific gravity, fiber length, vessel density and vessel radial diameter. Increment cores were extracted from each tree at breast height and divided into 1 cm segments from pith to bark. Specific gravity was determined for each segment. The same wood cores were macerated for measuring fiber length. Vessel density and vessel radial diameter were measured for each segment from cross sections. Significant differences were found among sites (P < 0.05) for specific gravity and fiber length. Both of these variables also increased from pith to bark at all sites, and these radial gradients were significantly different among sites (P < 0.05). Vessel density was also significantly different among sites, but there was no significant change from pith to bark. No significant differences were detected among sites for mean vessel radial diameter; however, radial change in vessel diameter was significantly different among sites. For. Sci. 44(2):185-191.

Keywords: Geographic variation; fiber length; radial gradients; tropical hardwoods; wood density

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Professor, Department of Forest Science, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas 77843-2135. Phone: (409)845-5033

Publication date: May 1, 1998

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