Models for predicting the within-tree and regional variation of tracheid length and width for plantation loblolly pine

  • Authors: Dahlen, Joseph; Nabavi, Mohamad; Auty, David; Schimleck, Laurence; Eberhardt, Thomas L.
  • Publication Year: 2021
  • Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
  • Source: Forestry: An International Journal of Forest Research
  • DOI: 10.1093/forestry/cpaa018

Abstract

Loblolly pine is a major fibre source for the pulp and paper industry. Herewe developed the first nonlinear models

to predict the within-tree and regional variation of tracheid length and width for planted loblolly pine. Data were

obtained from macerated tracheids and near-infrared spectroscopy calibration models from trees sampled in

109 stands across the southeastern United States. The fixed effects for the final tracheid length model, which

included cambial age, height of disk within tree, and physiographic region, explained 71 percent of the variation

with root mean square error (RMSE) of 0.28 mm, while the fixed effects for the final tracheid width model

explained 57 percent of the variation with RMSE of 1.4 μm. There was significant variation in tracheid properties

across the growing regions. Tree maps showing within-tree variability in tracheid properties were produced. Five

simulated scenarios were compared using the models developed, with mean tracheid dimensions calculated

on a whole-tree basis at a first and second thinnings, and at final harvest. Also from the final harvest, the tops

of trees, and outerwood chips produced during lumber manufacturing were also simulated. For the whole tree

scenarios, both mean tracheid length and width increased with age, increasing from 2.24 mm and 40.5 μm (age

12), to 2.51 mm and 41.3 μm (age 18), and to 2.73 and 41.8 μm at age 25, respectively. The tops of the trees

at age 25 had a mean tracheid length of 2.46 mm and a mean width of 41.0 μm, while the chips had a mean

tracheid length of 3.13 mm and a mean width of 42.5 μm. Due to the models representing samples collected

from across the southeastern United States, and their relatively high precision, they are suitable for incorporation

into growth and yield systems allowing for prediction of tracheid properties.

  • Citation: Dahlen, Joseph; Nabavi, Mohamad; Auty, David; Schimleck, Laurence; Eberhardt, Thomas L. 2021. Models for predicting the within-tree and regional variation of tracheid length and width for plantation loblolly pine. Forestry: An International Journal of Forest Research. 94: 127-140. https://doi.org/10.1093/forestry/cpaa018.
  • Keywords: wood quality, fiber properties, predictive models
  • Posted Date: March 15, 2021
  • Modified Date: March 16, 2021
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    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
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