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Prediction of Whole-Stem α-Cellulose Yield, Lignin Content, and Wood Density in Juvenile and Mature Loblolly Pine

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Models were developed for predicting whole-stem α-cellulose yield, lignin content, and wood density in 14- and 20-year-old loblolly pine across three different sites. Also, the relationships between juvenile-, transition-, and mature-wood α-cellulose yield, lignin content, and wood density at breast-height and overall whole-stem wood property values were examined. Whole-stem wood property weighted averages were calculated by taking 12-mm core samples at breast height and at 2.4-m incremental heights up each tree, and breast-height wood property values were then used to predict whole-stem weighted averages. Despite large differences in growth across sites and both ages, whole-stem models based on whole cores taken at breast height were not significantly different among sites, and coefficients of determination (R2) were 0.87, 0.74, and 0.78 for α-cellulose, lignin, and wood density, respectively. Generally, whole-stem prediction models based on sections of wood at breast height were not significantly different among sites and were less effective than cores as predictors, explaining between 39 and 82% of the variation in whole-stem wood traits. The results of this study indicate that the relationship between breast height and whole-stem wood chemical properties (and density) is predictable and consistent across sites in both juvenile and mature loblolly pine.

Keywords: juvenile wood; prediction models; tree improvement; wood chemistry

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: May 1, 2010

More about this publication?
  • Each regional journal of applied forestry focuses on research, practice, and techniques targeted to foresters and allied professionals in specific regions of the United States and Canada. The Southern Journal of Applied Forestry covers an area from Virginia and Kentucky south to as far west as Oklahoma and east Texas.
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