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CO2 and Temperature Effects on Wood Density of Scots Pines
Reference
Kilpelainen A., Peltola, H., Ryyppo, A., Sauvala, K., Laitinen, K. and Kellomaki, S. 2003. Wood properties of Scots pines (Pinus sylvestris) grown at elevated temperature and carbon dioxide concentration. Tree Physiology 23: 889-897.

What was done
The authors erected 16 open-top chambers within a 15-year-old stand of Scots pines growing on a nutrient-poor sandy soil of low N content near the Mekrijarvi Research Station of the University of Joensuu, Finland. Over the next three years they maintained the trees within these chambers in a well-watered condition, while they enriched the air in half of the chambers to a mean daytime CO2 concentration of approximately 580 ppm and maintained the air in half of each of the two CO2 treatments at 2C above ambient.

What was learned
At ambient temperatures, the approximate 60% increase in the air's CO2 concentration significantly increased latewood density by 27% and maximum wood density by 11%, while in the elevated-temperature treatment it significantly increased latewood density by 25% and maximum wood density by 15%. These changes led to mean overall CO2-induced wood density increases of 2.8% in the ambient-temperature treatment and 5.6% in the elevated-temperature treatment.

What it means
Kilpelainen et al. state that the "increases in latewood density and maximum density in response to elevated CO2 may imply improvements in wood strength properties."


Reviewed 14 July 2004