Influence of Stand Density on Ring Width and Wood Density at Different Sampling Heights in Black Spruce (<i>Picea Mariana</i> (Mill.) B.S.P.)


  • Jérôme Alteyrac
  • S. Y. Zhang
  • Alain Cloutier
  • Jean-Claude Ruel


Black spruce, stand density, sampling height, ring width, ring density, variation


Thirty-six black spruce sample trees were collected from an 80-year-old stand to examine the influence of stand density on selected wood quality attributes and their variation with sampling height. The stand, naturally regenerated from fire in 1906, was located in Chibougamau, 400 km north of Québec. Each tree was assigned a local stand density ranging from 1390 to 3590 stems/ha, calculated from the number of neighboring trees. The trees were grouped into three stand density categories (1790, 2700, and 3400 stems/ha). Each sample tree was analyzed by X-ray densitometry, and various ring features including ring width and wood density were measured for each ring from pith to bark, at three heights (2.4, 5.1, and 7.8m) and ring area and earlywood proportion were computed. For all features studied, the variation due to sampling height was larger than that due to stand density. The longitudinal variations for ring density and earlywood density depend largely upon the wood type (juvenile wood or mature wood). A variation of ring density with sampling height in the stem from 425 to 458 kg/m3 was observed in juvenile wood, but variations with stand density in all the growth ring features studied were small. Notably, it was observed that stand density had more influence on ring width features than on ring density features.


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