Journal of Wood Science

, Volume 64, Issue 6, pp 738–744 | Cite as

Reflection and transmission of visible light by sugi wood: effects of cellular structure and densification

  • Hiroyuki SugimotoEmail author
  • Sakiko Kawabuchi
  • Masatoshi Sugimori
  • Joseph Gril
Original Article


Transmittance and reflectance of visible light by sugi wood (Cryptomeria japonica) were investigated in the longitudinal (L) and tangential (T) directions. Transmittance was the highest in the L direction and reflectance was the highest in the T direction, suggesting that structural anisotropy influences transmittance and reflectance. Intra-ring variations observed with a microspectrometer indicated that T transmittance was higher for latewood than for earlywood, but there was no such trend in for L transmittance in which the highest levels occurred near the annual ring boundaries, on either the earlywood or latewood side, and the lowest at the transition from earlywood to latewood. Dependence of L transmittance on wavelength also showed variations according to the intra-ring position. The increasing of transmittance of earlywood at wavelengths < 500 nm with increasing wavelength was observed, but this was not confirmed for latewood because of absorption by lignin. These observations supported a previously published finding, which was based on measurements in the radial direction, that the number of internal cell wall reflections, rather than density, determines wood lightness. Indeed, in the L direction, most of the incident light passes through lumens in earlywood and through cell walls in latewood, while it is subjected to numerous internal reflections at the interface between lumens and cell walls. This was further confirmed by the transmittance of earlywood being greatly decreased by radial compression.


Visible light Cell structure Transmittance Reflection Compression 


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Copyright information

© The Japan Wood Research Society 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hiroyuki Sugimoto
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Sakiko Kawabuchi
    • 3
  • Masatoshi Sugimori
    • 1
  • Joseph Gril
    • 2
    • 4
  1. 1.Ehime University Graduate School of AgricultureMatsuyamaJapan
  2. 2.LMGC, Univ. Montpellier, CNRS, CC4048MontpellierFrance
  3. 3.Abashiri Nambu District Forest Office, Forest Agency, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and FisheriesHokkaidoJapan
  4. 4.CNRS, Université Clermont Auvergne, Sigma Clermont, Institut PascalAubière CedexFrance

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