Variation of wood color parameters of Tectona grandis and its relationship with physical environmental factors

Abstract

Context

Teak’s wood color is considered an important attribute in the marketing phase and it has been influenced by environmental setting, stand conditions and management, plant genetic source, and age. However, there is a lack of understanding about how the environmental factors might affect the teak’s wood color planted in short-rotation forest plantations.

Aims

The aim of this study is to understand the relationship, gathered from generated information, between edaphic and climatic variables and their effects in the wood color variation of Tectona grandis from trees in forest plantations.

Methods

Twenty-two plots were grouped in five cluster sites that shared similar climatic and soil conditions. Data about soil’s physical–chemical properties and climatic variables were collected and analyzed. Representative trees were harvested next to each plot in order to obtain a wood sample per tree at a diameter breast height. Wood color was measured using standardized CIELab’s chromaticity system.

Results

After comparing the wood change color index (∆E*) in the five studied clusters, it was found that heartwood produced from drier and fertile sites had more yellowish-brown color. The heartwood b* color index resulted with significant correlations (R > 0.5, P < 0.05) among nine climatic and eight edaphic variables.

Conclusion

It was concluded that climatic variables should be considered as the first-order causal variables to explain wood color variation. Hence, darker b* wood color was associated with dry climates; also, with deeper and fertile sites.

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Acknowledgments

This project was supported by the Instituto Tecnológico de Costa Rica and by the Centro de Investigación Integración Bosque-Industria de la Escuela Forestal. Special thanks to all teak reforestation companies that collaborated in this study: Precious Woods of Central America (MACORI), Ecodirecta Groups, and Panamericans Woods. Special recognitions to the Vicerectoria de Investigación de Instituto Tecnológico de Costa Rica (ITCR) for their support throughout all the phases of this study.

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Correspondence to Róger Moya.

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Contribution of the co-authors

Moya contributed with designing the experiment, sampling of tree, determining of wood, running the data analysis, and coordinating the research project.

Calvo-Alvarado contributed with designing the experiment, writing the paper, and running the data analysis.

Handling Editor: Jean-Michel Leban

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Moya, R., Calvo-Alvarado, J. Variation of wood color parameters of Tectona grandis and its relationship with physical environmental factors. Annals of Forest Science 69, 947–959 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13595-012-0217-0

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Keywords

  • Wood color
  • CIELab’s color system
  • Wood properties
  • Tree environmental factors