A Method to Estimate Fibre Length Distribution in Conifers Based on Wood Samples from Increment Cores

T. Mörling, S. Sjöstedt-de Luna, I. Svensson, A. Fries,  and T. Ericsson


We propose a method to estimate fibre length distribution in conifers based on wood samples from increment cores processed by automatic optical fibre-analysers. Automatic fibre-analysers are unable to distinguish: a) fibres from other tissues, “fines”, and b) cut from uncut fibres. However, our proposed method can handle these problems if the type of distributions that fibre lengths and fines follow is known. In our study the length distributions of fines and fibres were assumed to follow truncated normal distributions, characterised by means and standard deviations of the two distributions. Parameter estimates were obtained by the maximum likelihood method. Wood samples from two 22-year-old Scots pine trees at breast height were used to evaluate the performance of the method. From stem discs at 1.5 m, adjacent samples of 5 mm increment cores and wood pieces were taken. The cores were trimmed 1 mm at each side and samples were, after maceration, analysed in a Kajaani FiberLab 3.0. The results showed that the method works well and gives a possibility to distinguish fine and fibre length distribution.

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Holzforschung is an international scholarly journal that publishes cutting-edge research on the biology, chemistry, physics and technology of wood and wood components. High quality papers about biotechnology and tree genetics are also welcome. Rated year after year as one of the top scientific journals in the category of Pulp and Paper (ISI Journal Citation Index), Holzforschung represents innovative, high quality basic and applied research.