Annals of Forest Science

, Volume 68, Issue 8, pp 1363–1373 | Cite as

Genetic and environmental variation in wood properties of Acacia melanoxylon

  • Gordon J. Bradbury
  • Brad M. Potts
  • Chris L. Beadle
Original Paper

Abstract

Context

Australian blackwood (Acacia melanoxylon), is a fast-growing, high-quality, appearance-grade timber species native to eastern Australia. Some of its key wood properties are percentage heartwood, heartwood colour, basic density, wood stiffness and green moisture content. Variation in these properties affects log value, processing and marketing.

Aims

This study aims to understand how genetics and environment affect these wood properties.

Methods

Stem cores were taken from 16 open-pollinated blackwood families from the island of Tasmania, Australia, which were planted across three 18-year-old progeny trials.

Results

Significant effects of genetics, environment and their interaction (GxE) were found for many of the wood properties examined. Both broad-scale and local environmental effects were apparent, with local effects associated with competition and/or allelopathy from a Eucalyptus globulus nurse crop present in one trial. No significant correlation of growth rate (i.e. stem diameter) with wood properties was detected at the family level apart from a positive relationship with heartwood width. At the phenotypic level, there were many significant correlations including growth rate with heartwood width, but not with basic density, or wood stiffness measured as standing tree time of flight. Faster growing trees had yellower heartwood while trees with higher basic and green densities tended to have darker, redder and less yellow heartwood.

Conclusion

Both genetic and environment factors affect key wood properties of Australian blackwood, but in most cases these effects were independent of growth rate.

Keywords

Blackwood Genetics Wood colour Tonewood 

References

  1. Awang K, Taylor D (eds) (1993) Acacia mangium: growing and utilization. MPTS Monograph series no. 3. Winrock International and FAO, Bangkok, ThailandGoogle Scholar
  2. Bolza E, Kloot NH (1963) The Mechanical Properties of 174 Australian Timbers. CSIRO Div For Prod tech paper no. 25Google Scholar
  3. Bradbury GJ (2005) A comparison of timber quality of blackwood grown in young swamp forest, fenced regeneration, and a plantation. Tasforests 16:95–110Google Scholar
  4. Bradbury GJ, Beadle CL, Potts BM (2010a) Genetic control in the survival, growth and form of Acacia melanoxylon. New For 39:139–156CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bradbury GJ, Potts BM, Beadle CL (2010b) Phenotypic variation in wood colour in Acacia melanoxylon R. Br. Forestry 83:153–162CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bradbury GJ, Potts BM, Beadle CL, Dutkowski G, Hamilton M (2011) Genetic and environmental variation in heartwood colour of Australian blackwood (Acacia melanoxylon R.Br.). Holzforschung 65:349–359CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bragg DC, Mroz GD, Reed DD, Shetron SG, Stokke DD (1997) Relationship between “birdseye” sugar maple (Acer saccharum) occurrence and its environment. Can J For Res 27:1182–1191CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Bucur V (2006) Acoustics of wood. Springer, BerlinGoogle Scholar
  9. Cowan RS, Maslin BR (2001) Acacia melanoxylon. Flora of Australia Online. Australian Biological Resources Study, Canberra. Available at: http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/abrs/online-resources/flora/main/ Accessed 11 July 2011.
  10. de Zwaan JG (1982) The silviculture of blackwood (Acacia melanoxylon). S Afr For J 121:38–43Google Scholar
  11. Downes G, Worledge D, Schimleck L, Harwood C, French J, Beadle C (2006) The effect of growth rate and irrigation on the basic density and kraft pulp yield of Eucalyptus globulus and E. nitens. NZ J For 51:13–22Google Scholar
  12. Evans P (2007) The use of blackwood in the Australian guitar-making industry. In: Beadle C. L. and Brown A. G. (eds) Acacia utilisation and management: adding value—3rd Blackwood Industry Group (BIG) workshop, Marysville, VIC, 26–29 April 2006. RIRDC Publ no. 07/095, Canberra, Australia, pp. 45–46Google Scholar
  13. Grabianowski M, Manley B, Walker J (2006) Acoustic measurements on standing trees, logs and green lumber. Wood Sci Tech 40:205–216CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Grant JC (1995) Forest soils of Tasmania: a handbook for identification and management. Forestry Tasmania, HobartGoogle Scholar
  15. Hai PH (2009) Genetic improvement of plantation-grown Acacia auriculiformis for sawn timber production. Ph.D. thesis, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, UppsalaGoogle Scholar
  16. Hai PH, Jansson G, Harwood C, Hannrup B, Thinh HH, Pinyopusarerk K (2007) Genetic variation in wood basic density and knot index and their relationship with growth traits for Acacia auriculiformis A. Cunn ex Benth in Northern Vietnam. In: 1st Australasian forest genetics conference—breeding for wood quality, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia, 11–14 April 2007Google Scholar
  17. Haines DW (2000) The essential mechanical properties of wood prepared for musical instruments. Catgut Acoust Soc J 4:20–32Google Scholar
  18. Harrison CM (1975a) The relative influence of genetics and environment upon certain timber quality characteristics of Acacia melanoxylon in South Africa. For S Afr 17:23–27Google Scholar
  19. Harrison CM (1975b) Heartwood colour patterns in South African Acacia melanoxylon. For S Afr 17:49–56Google Scholar
  20. Haslett AN (1986) Properties and utilisation of exotic speciality timbers grown in New Zealand. Part II, Australian blackwood (Acacia melanoxylon R. Br.). Bulletin no. 119, Forest Research Institute, RotoruaGoogle Scholar
  21. Henson M, Boyton S, Davies M, Joe B, Kangane B, Murphy TN, Palmer G, Vanclay JK (2004) Genetic parameters of wood properties in a 9 year old E. dunnii progeny trial in NSW, Australia. In: International IUFRO conference: eucalyptus in a changing world, Aveiro, Portugal, 11–15 October 2004Google Scholar
  22. Kim N, Ochiishi M, Matsumura J, Oda K (2008) Variation in wood properties of six natural acacia hybrid clones in northern Vietnam. J Wood Sci 54:436–442CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Kingston RST, Risdon C (1961) Shrinkage and density of Australian and other woods. CSIRO Div For Prod technological paper no. 13, Melbourne, AustraliaGoogle Scholar
  24. Lambert J (2004) Blackwood features in demand: a Victorian case study. In: Brown A. G. (ed) Blackwood management—learning from New Zealand—2nd Blackwood Industry Group (BIG) workshop, Rotorua, New Zealand, 22 November 2002. RIRDC Publication no. 04/086, Canberra, pp. 42–45Google Scholar
  25. Morrow A (2007) Evaluation of Australian timbers for use in musical instruments, JW Gottstein Memorial Trust Fund, Clayton South, VICGoogle Scholar
  26. Moya R, Berrocal A (2010) Wood colour variation in sapwood and heartwood of young trees of Tectona grandis and its relationship with plantation characteristics, site, and decay resistance. Ann For Sci 67:109CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Nicholas ID, Dungey H, Gifford HH, Cox J, Hodgkiss P, Jones T (2007) Preliminary analysis of the wood properties of Acacia melanoxylon thinnings from five North Island regime trials in New Zealand. In: Beadle C. L. and Brown A. G. (eds) Acacia utilisation and management: adding value—3rd Blackwood Industry Group (BIG) workshop, Marysville, VIC, 26–29 April 2006. RIRDC publication no. 07/095, Canberra, Australia. pp. 14–20Google Scholar
  28. Nicholas ID, Young GD, Gifford HH (1994) Wood properties of Acacia melanoxylon: variation within and between four seedlots. In: Faces of farm forestry, proceedings of the Australian forest growers conference, Launceston, Tasmania, Australia. Australian Forest Growers, Braddon, ACT, Australia, pp. 105–110Google Scholar
  29. Quinn GP, Keough MJ (2002) Experimental design and data analysis for biologists. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  30. Raymond C, Muneri A (2000) Effect of fertilizer on wood properties of Eucalyptus globulus. Can J For Res 30:136–144Google Scholar
  31. SAS Institute Inc. (2004) SAS/STAT® 9.1 User’s Guide, SAS Institute, Cary, NC, USAGoogle Scholar
  32. Searle SD, Owen JV (2005) Variation in basic wood density and percentage heartwood in temperate Australian Acacia species. Aust For 68:126–136Google Scholar
  33. Sotelo Montes C, Hernández R, Beaulieu J, Weber J (2008) Genetic variation in wood color and its correlations with tree growth and wood density of Calycophyllum spruceanum at an early age in the Peruvian Amazon. New For 35:57–73CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Vanclay J, Henson M, Palmer G (2008) Color variation and correlations in Eucalyptus dunnii sawnwood. J Wood Sci 54:431–435CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Wegst UGK (2006) Wood for sound. Amer J Bot 93:1439–1448CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Wyszecki G, Stiles WS (1982) Color science: concepts and methods, quantitative data and formulae. Wiley, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  37. Yamamoto K, Sulaiman O, Hashim R (1998) Nondestructive detection of heart rot of Acacia mangium trees in Malaysia. For Prod J 48:83–86Google Scholar

Copyright information

© INRA and Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gordon J. Bradbury
    • 1
  • Brad M. Potts
    • 1
  • Chris L. Beadle
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.School of Plant ScienceUniversity of TasmaniaHobartAustralia
  2. 2.CSIRO Ecosystem Sciences and Cooperative Research Centre for ForestryHobartAustralia
  3. 3.Tasmanian Institute for Agricultural ResearchHobartAustralia

Personalised recommendations