, Volume 42, Issue 8, pp 649-661
Date: 17 Jun 2008

Within tree variability of lignin composition in Populus

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Clonal variability among trees has been studied and found to have profound effects on nearly all measured phenotypes. However, when estimating wood properties it is important to consider variability within the tree. The position in which a tree is sampled could have a large influence on biomass characterization. We looked at variability in lignin content as height increases and as the number of rings from the pith increase in Populus species. Seven trees were destructively sampled; subsamples were obtained along a 2.4 m length of each stem and across increment rings. All samples were analyzed by pyrolysis molecular beam mass spectroscopy to map the variability across sampling heights and/or ring positions in lignin content. The results of this study indicate that when sampling a tree, there is more variability from ring to ring than at different heights going up the stem.