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Picea abies sapwood width: Variations within and between trees

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This study focused on the amount of sapwood and its variation by means of computed tomographic (CT) imaging. Twenty-four trees were selected from four Norway spruce [ Picea abies (L.) Karst.] stands in north-eastern France, varying in age, density and fertility. In each stand, sampled trees represented the dominant, co-dominant and suppressed strata. The heartwood/sapwood boundary was detected from the CT images, and the heartwood and sapwood amount and their variations were then evaluated. At the within-tree level sapwood width was relatively constant along the tree stem above the butt swelling and below the living crown. The between-tree sapwood width variations were partially explained by the total cross-sectional area of living branches. This result opens up the possibility of investigating within-tree allometric relationships. Sapwood width was found to be highly correlated with tree slendemess (tree height/breast height diameter) and with the relative height of the crown. This suggests that sapwood width could be readily predicted from conventional forest inventory measurements. The number of sapwood rings within the stem was largely dependent on cambial age, and could be determined dynamically using the concept of mean lifetime of sapwood rings.
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Keywords: Allometry; Norway spruce; computer tomography; heartwood; sapwood width; wood anatomy

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Centre INRA de Nancy, Equipe de Recherche sur la Qualité des Bois, Laboratoire d'Étude des Ressources Forêt-Bois, Champenoux, France 2: Department of Forest Ecology, University of Helsinki, Finland

Publication date: 2006-02-01

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