Variation in Loblolly Pine Cross-Sectional Microfibril Angle With Tree Height and Physiographic Region

Lewis Jordan, Rechun Re, Daniel B. Hall, Alexander Clark, Richard F. Daniels


The effect of height and physiographic region on whole disk cross-sectional microfibril angle (CSMFA) in loblolly pine (Pinus taeda L.) in the southern United States was evaluated. Whole disk CSMFA was determined at 1.4, 4.6, 7.6, 10.7, and 13.7 m up the stem of 59 trees, representing five physiographic regions. A mixed-effects analysis of variance was performed to test the significance of height, region, and the height by region interaction on CSMFA. Height, region, and the height by region interaction terms were all found to be significant at the 0.10 level. Significant differences were found in CSMFA between 1.4 m and all other height levels in all regions. However, there was no difference between CSMFA at 1.4 m and 13.7 m in the Gulf Coastal Plain. No significant difference was found in CSMFA between 4.5, 7.6, and 10.7 meter-height levels in all regions. CSMFA was found to be significantly larger in the north Atlantic and Piedmont regions compared to the south Atlantic, Gulf, and Hilly regions at all heights. The analysis of variance also indicated that significant variation exists among trees within stands and across stands within regions. This is an indicator that aside from the distinct patterns of CSMFA within trees, other factors including site quality, length of growing season, rainfall, and genetics could possibly play a key role in CSMFA development.


Analysis of variance;mixed-effects;repeated measures;spatial correlation

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