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 Research Report for 2024

Scientific and Research Projects

  • Trends in wood density: Do faster growing trees produce more biomass?
      Description of the project:
      In terms of timber production the productivity of many forest sites in Europe has considerably increased in recent decades. Increased wood volume production of forest stands is evidenced by empirical findings for different tree species, sites and regions. For conifers it is well known that wider tree-rings determine lower average wood density. This raises the question whether the increased volume production is equivalent to an increase in biomass production, or whether the biomass produced is only distributed on a larger wood volume. In the research project we clarify whether the density of tree-rings has changed in the long term, taking into account the increased growth. For this we investigate stem discs of Norway spruce (Picea abies) and European beech (Fagus sylvatica) sample trees of different age to quantitatively assess the relationships between tree-ring density, tree-ring width, tree age, cambial age and calendar year. The research material originates from large scale surveys as well as and from experimental plots. The wood density of tree-rings is determined by the method of high-frequency densitometry (HF densitometry). The question of trend-like changes in wood density and biomass production is relevant for the assessment of carbon sequestration of forests and also for assessing the technological properties of the produced timber.

      contact person: Dr. Hans-Peter Kahle
      Phone: +49 761 203-3739
      Email: Hans-Peter.Kahle@iww.uni-freiburg.de
      Start of project: 2011
      End of project: (unlimited)
      Project Management:
      Albert-Ludwigs-University Freiburg
      Dr. Hans-Peter Kahle, Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Heinrich Spiecker, Dr. Martin Schinker, Clemens Koch