[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background
This study examines the radial trend in wood stiffness of tropical rainforest trees. The objective was to determine if the
type of growing environment (exposed plantation or dense primary forest) would have an effect on this radial trend.
The axial elastic modulus of wood samples, representing a pith to bark cross-section, of six trees from several French Guianese
species (two of Eperua falcata, one of Eperua grandiflora, two of Carapa procera and one of Symphonia gloubulifera) was measured using a dynamic “forced vibration” method.
Primary forest trees were observed to have a decrease in wood stiffness from pith to bark, whereas plantation trees, from
the same genus or species, displayed a corresponding increase in wood stiffness. Juvenile wood stiffness appears to vary depending
on the environment in which the tree had grown.
We suggest that the growth strategy of primary forest trees is to produce wood resistant to self-buckling so that the height
of the canopy may be obtained with the maximum of efficiency. In contrast, the growth strategy of the trees growing in an
exposed plantation is to produce low-stiffness wood, important to provide flexibility in wind. Further experiments to study
the behaviour of more species, with more individuals per species, growing across a range of physical environments, are required.
KeywordsTropical trees–Growth strategy–Wood stiffness–Juvenile wood
Annals of Forest Science 01/2011; 68(4):681-688. · 1.63 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Wood density correlates with mechanical and physiological strategies of trees and is important for estimating global carbon stocks. Nonetheless, the relationship between branch and trunk xylem density has been poorly explored in neotropical trees. Here, we examine this relationship in trees from French Guiana and its variation among different families and sites, to improve the understanding of wood density in neotropical forests.
Trunk and branch xylem densities were measured for 1909 trees in seven sites across French Guiana. A major-axis fit was performed to explore their general allometric relationship and its variation among different families and sites.
Trunk xylem and branch xylem densities were significantly positively correlated, and their relationship explained 47% of the total variance. Trunk xylem was on average 9% denser than branch xylem. Family-level differences and interactions between family and site accounted for more than 40% of the total variance, whereas differences among sites explained little variation.
Variation in xylem density within individual trees can be substantial, and the relationship between branch xylem and trunk xylem densities varies considerably among families and sites. As such, whole-tree biomass estimates based on nondestructive branch sampling should correct for both taxonomic and environmental factors. Furthermore, detailed estimates of the vertical distribution of wood density within individual trees are needed to determine the extent to which relying solely upon measures of trunk wood density may cause carbon stocks in tropical forests to be overestimated.
American Journal of Botany 01/2011; 98(1):140-9. · 2.59 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: On 10 trees from 10 species of French Guyana tropical rainforest in a clear active process of restoring verticality growth strains were measured in situ in order to determine the occurrence of tension wood within samples. Wood specimens were cut in the vicinity of the growth strains measurements in order to measure some mechanical and physical properties. As suspected, tensile growth strains was very much higher in tension wood zone, because longitudinal modulus of elasticity was slightly higher. Longitudinal shrinkage was also much higher in tension wood than in opposite wood. Comparaison du bois de tension et du bois opposé de dix arbres provenant d'espèces différentes de forêt tropicale humide. Des mesures de contraintes de croissance ont été réalisées sur 10 arbres en cours de redressement actif appartenant à 10 espèces de la forêt tropicale humide de Guyane Française afin de s'assurer de la présence de bois de tension. Des échantillons de bois, prélevés au voisinage des mesures de contraintes de croissance, ont permis de mesurer un certains nombres de propriétés physiques et mécaniques. Comme présumé les contraintes de croissance sont beaucoup plus élevées au niveau du secteur de bois de tension, car le module d'élasticité est légèrement plus élevé. Le retrait longitudinal est aussi plus élevé dans le bois de tension que dans le bois opposé.
Annals of Forest Science 01/2007; · 1.63 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Active mechanisms of re-orientation are necessary to maintain the verticality of tree stems. They are achieved through the production of reaction wood, associated with circumferential variations of three factors related to cambial activity: maturation strain, longitudinal modulus of elasticity (MOE) and eccentric growth. These factors were measured on 17 mature trees from different botanical families and geographical locations. Various patterns of circumferential variation of these factors were identified. A biomechanical analysis based on beam theory was performed to quantify the individual impact of each factor. The main factor of re-orientation is the circumferential variation of maturation strains. However, this factor alone explains only 57% of the re-orientations. Other factors also have an effect through their interaction with maturation strains. Eccentric growth is generally associated with heterogeneity of maturation strains, and has an important complementary role, by increasing the width of wood with high maturation strain. Without this factor, the efficiency of re-orientations would be reduced by 31% for angiosperms and 26% for gymnosperms. In the case of angiosperms, MOE is often larger in tension wood than in normal wood. Without these variations, the efficiency of re-orientations would be reduced by 13%. In the case of gymnosperm trees, MOE of compression wood is lower than that of normal wood, so that re-orientation efficiency would be increased by 24% without this factor of variations.
Trees 05/2005; 19(4):457-467. · 1.93 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Colour parameters of European beech were measured using CIELab system. 103 logs from 87 trees in 9 sites were cut into boards to study the radial variations of wood colour parameters. Both site and tree effects on colour were observed. Patterns of red heartwood occurrence were defined. When excepting red heartwood there was still a highly significant effect of site and tree. Axial and radial variations were small, except very near the pith or in red heartwood, suggesting possible early selection at periphery under colour criteria. Red heartwood is darker, redder and more yellow than normal peripheral wood. Études sur le Hêtre (Fagus sylvatica L.). 1. Variations des paramètres de couleur du bois. Les paramètres de couleur du hêtre européen ont été mesurés à l’aide du système CIELab. Cent trois grumes obtenues à partir de 87 arbres abattus dans 9 sites ont été débitées en quartiers afin de déterminer les variations radiales des paramètres de couleur. Des effets site et arbre sur la couleur ont été observés. Des types avec ou sans cœur rouge ont été définis. En exceptant le cœur rouge on conserve un effet hautement significatif du site et de l’arbre. Les variations radiales et axiales étaient faibles, excepté très près de la moelle ou dans le cœur rouge, suggérant la possibilité d’une sélection précoce sur des critères de couleur en périphérie. Le cœur rouge est plus foncé, plus rouge et plus jaune que le bois normal périphérique.