New Forests

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Clues to wood quality and production from analyzing ring width and density variabilities of fertilized Pinus taeda trees

  • Daigard Ricardo Ortega RodriguezEmail author
  • Mario Tomazello-Filho


Tree growth and wood density are influenced by forest management. Nevertheless, few studies have evaluated their variability responses to fertilizer treatments at inter-annual, inter-tree and stand-production levels. Therefore, the annual ring width (RW) and density (RD) of sixty 17-year-old-Pinus taeda trees fertilized with six doses of composted pulp-mill sludge (CPMS) were analyzed. Ten trees for each treatment were felled and from which wood discs were taken at different trunk heights. The annual RW and RD were provided by X-ray microdensitometry, synchronized and the trunk basic specific gravity (SGB) and biomass calculated. The effects of CPMS treatments were explored using interaction of variables RW and RD with cambial age, diameter, trunk SGB and biomass production. Trees treated with CPMS grow faster, increasing their biomass (up to 108%), presenting lower wood density values (significant up to the 6th year) and reaching the mature wood later than untreated trees. Furthermore, the potential use of RW and RD in allometric equations showed good accuracy to predict trunk SGB and biomass. Altogether, our results indicated that ring width and density revealed the impacts of fertilization treatment on wood quality and production. Our study also provides useful information for forest managers on the fertilization monitoring process.


Allometric equation Biomass production Early-age fertilization Loblolly pine Tree-ring microdensity 



We thank the Wood Anatomy and Tree-Ring Laboratory (LAIM) of the Department of Forest Sciences at Luiz de Queiroz College of Agriculture (ESALQ), University of Sao Paulo (USP). We thank to EMBRAPA-Centro Nacional de Florestas, for the experimental help, especially researchers Antonio Bellote and Guilherme Andrade. This work was supported by the Post-Graduate Program of Forest Resources (ESALQ-USP, Brazil) and CAPES, Brazil (Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior do Governo do Brasil, Finance Code 001), for the fellowship financial support. We are also grateful to Renata Siqueira Melo of the Departament of Forest Sciences (ESALQ-USP) for the preparation of the study area map. We finally thank the editor and two anonymous reviewers for improving the manuscript.


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© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Forest Resource, Luiz de Queiroz College of AgricultureUniversity of São PauloPiracicabaBrazil

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