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Short-term growth responses and associated wood density fluctuations in variously irrigated Eucalyptus globulus


Drew, DM and Downes, GM and Evans, R, Short-term growth responses and associated wood density fluctuations in variously irrigated Eucalyptus globulus, Trees, 25, (2) pp. 153-161. ISSN 0931-1890 (2011) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2010 Her Majesty the Queen in Rights of Australia

DOI: doi:10.1007/s00468-010-0494-x


Cambial growth and wood properties respond to fluctuating environmental conditions. Understanding the nature of these responses is crucial to understanding their cumulative effect on the wood quality characteristics of a forest stand. This paper reports on a study conducted over a period of 31/2 years in continuously irrigated, alternately irrigated and non-irrigated Eucalyptus globulus, in which changes in wood density occurring in response to short-term growth responses were examined. The study showed that continuous irrigation led to the production of wood with significantly more homogenous density than was the case in situations, where trees experienced large fluctuations in temporal water availability. Although the trees which were not irrigated had the highest wood density overall, trees in which growth was relatively continuous tended to produce the largest volumes of wood with relatively high density, compared to trees in which periodic growth responses were caused by intermittent irrigation, in which wood density was actually reduced. This was largely due to more growth days in summer under the conditions of higher radiation, and a reduction in the number of growth events leading to the production of disproportionately large amounts of low density wood. Soil water deficits contributed to density variation in all treatments, but the effect of energy limitations became more important in continuously irrigated trees.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:blue gum, drought effects, pulse-type growth responses;, wood density
Research Division:Agricultural, Veterinary and Food Sciences
Research Group:Forestry sciences
Research Field:Tree nutrition and physiology
Objective Division:Plant Production and Plant Primary Products
Objective Group:Forestry
Objective Field:Hardwood plantations
UTAS Author:Downes, GM (Dr Geoff Downes)
ID Code:118387
Year Published:2011
Web of Science® Times Cited:21
Deposited By:Plant Science
Deposited On:2017-07-11
Last Modified:2017-10-16

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