Do Douglas-fir branches and roots have juvenile wood? Public Deposited

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  • We sampled boles, branches, and roots of four Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii var. menziesii) trees to learn a) whether branches and roots have a zone of juvenile wood, defined as a zone with progressive changes in wood density and/or tracheid length from the pith outward at successively greater cambial ages, and if so, b) whether the radial patterns in branches and roots are similar to those in boles. Samples came from the following positions: bole, 30 cm aboveground; branch, 30 cm outward on the lowest live branch, and root, 1–3 m from the bole. Average sample cambial ages were bole, 60 years; branch, 30 years; and root, 48 years. Roots and branches had higher density wood than did the bole at the positions studied, and roots had the longest tracheids followed by the bole and then the branches. All three positions exhibited juvenile wood but with different radial patterns. All positions had their highest density near the pith, which was followed by a steep decline in the boles and a more gradual decline in the roots and branches. Boles and roots, but not branches, then showed an increase in density after this decline. Boles and branches had short tracheids near the pith followed by a gradual increase to an asymptotic value. In contrast, tracheid length in roots was relatively constant from pith to bark, although there was a dip of about 20% from about cambial ages 14 to 24. This study shows that the vascular cambium of this species is not constrained to produce one sole radial pattern of wood properties as it matures. The presence of different radial patterns in boles, branches, and roots supports the hypothesis that juvenile wood in the bole is an adaptive feature rather than an unavoidable developmental consequence. Further work should investigate more fully the different physiological or mechanical roles of the various wood types within the context of the position in the tree at which they occur.
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  • Matthew G. Peterson, Hannah R. Dietterich, and Barbara L. Lachenbruch. 2007. Do Douglas-fir Branchs and Roots have Juvenile Wood? Wood and Fiber Science, 39(4):651-660.
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  • description.provenance : Approved for entry into archive by Caryn Davis(caryn.davis@oregonstate.edu) on 2010-01-23T02:49:37Z (GMT) No. of bitstreams: 1 Peterson_07_WFS_JWbrs_rts.pdf: 170726 bytes, checksum: 278077356305fdf8917f78d34cd1d3e7 (MD5)
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