Canadian Forest Service Publications

Modeling regional and climatic variation of wood density and ring width in intensively managed Douglas-fir. 2014. Filipescu, C.N.; Lowell, E.C.; Koppenaal, R.; Mitchell, A.K. Canadian Journal of Forestry Research. 44: 220-229.

Year: 2014

Issued by: Canadian Wood Fibre Centre

Catalog ID: 35361

Language: English

Availability: PDF (request by e-mail)

Available from the Journal's Web site.
DOI: 10.1139/cjfr-2013-0275

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Characteristics of annual rings are reliable indicators of growth and wood quality in trees. The main objective of our study was to model the variation in annual ring attributes due to intensive silviculture and inherent regional differences in climate and site across a wide geographic range of Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii (Mirb.) Franco). Ring specific gravity and ring width of Douglas-fir were examined at five long-term Levels-Of-Growing-Stock (LOGS) installations, three in the US and two in Canada, covering a latitudinal gradient between 43°N and 50°N. At each location, increment cores were collected from replicated plots with three levels of stocking: control (unthinned), lightly thinned (70% basal area retention), and heavily thinned (30% basal area retention). X-ray densitometry analysis provided ring specific gravity and width profiles for 5676 rings from 134 trees. The reduction of stand density through repeated entries resulted in decreased ring specific gravity and increased ring width. A four-parameter mixed-effects logistic model was used to predict ring specific gravity using cambial age, stand density (as number of stems per hectare), and two climatic variables: average temperature from March to May and total precipitation from April to August. A three-parameter mixed-effects logistic model was used to predict ring width using cambial age, stand density (as stand density index), and total climatic moisture deficit of June and July. Both models indicated significant site differences that were included in the models through indicator variables. Ring specific gravity increased slightly with increasing average temperature from March to May and decreasing total precipitation from April to August. Predictions of ring specific gravity of Douglas-fir appear to be more sensitive to changes in temperature compared with changes in precipitation.