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Basic wood density variations of Parkia velutina Benoist, a long-lived heliophilic Neotropical rainforest tree

Morel H., Lehnebach R., Cigna J., Ruelle J., Nicolini E.A., Beauchêne J.. 2018. Bois et Forêts des Tropiques, 335 : p. 59-69.

DOI: 10.19182/bft2018.335.a31518

Investigations of basic radial wood density (WD) in tropical trees revealed linear patterns and some curvilinear patterns. Studies usually disregard longitudinal variations, which are often considered to be similar to radial variations. This study aimed to show (1) a new radial curvilinear WD pattern, (2) differences in amplitude between radial and longitudinal gradients and (3) to partition WD variations according to different scales in Parkia velutina, an emergent tree found in Neotropical rain forests. We collected full discs from six felled trees and radial cores from 10 standing trees to check WD variability, plus one dominant axis per tree for analysis of height growth rates. This species showed very high growth rates indicative of heliophilic habits. WD varied from 0.194 to 0.642 g/cm3. Such amplitude is rarely observed within the same tree. Radial variation in WD was curvilinear, with an amplitude generally less than the longitudinal amplitude. Consequently, in mature trees, WD values in the crown were higher than those in the outer trunk. WD variations can be highly significant at different scales. The variance partitioning also revealed that the whole WD range of Parkia velutina is more accurately estimated intra-individually when both longitudinal and radial gradient are covered.

Mots-clés : parkia; parkia velutina

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