Skip to Main Content
Due to a lapse in federal funding, this USDA website will not be actively updated. Once funding has been reestablished, online operations will continue.
Ring profiler: a new method for estimating tree-ring density for improved estimates of carbon storageAuthor(s): David W. Vahey; C. Tim Scott; J.Y. Zhu; Kenneth E. Skog
Source: In: Morin, Randall S.; Liknes, Greg C., comps. Moving from status to trends: Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) symposium 2012; 2012 December 4-6; Baltimore, MD. Gen. Tech. Rep. NRS-P-105. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station. [CD-ROM]: 386-390.
Publication Series: Paper (invited, offered, keynote)
Station: Northern Research Station
PDF: View PDF (682.71 KB)
DescriptionMethods for estimating present and future carbon storage in trees and forests rely on measurements or estimates of tree volume or volume growth multiplied by specific gravity. Wood density can vary by tree ring and height in a tree. If data on density by tree ring could be obtained and linked to tree size and stand characteristics, it would be possible to more accurately predict changes in density and weight of tree biomass with projected changes in tree size and stand characteristics. Ring Profiler is a patented method for characterizing the structure of softwood tracheids and their changes from one tree ring to another over time. Measurements can be converted to density and can be multiplied by volume to estimate total weight and weight of carbon by ring. A sample displaying pith-to-bark ring structure is prepared from a radial core and scanned beneath a microscope as images are taken. Despite the sample’s thickness (up to 6mm) it is possible to image it with light transmitted from below using a single light-emitting diode (LED) for illumination. Near-infrared radiation (NIR) from the LED is captured by tracheid walls and travels efficiently to the viewing surface, much as light travels through an optical fiber. NIR captured by lumens tends to be absorbed by particulate matter introduced during sample preparation. The result is a high-contrast image in which tracheid walls are bright, lumens are dark and the interface is sharp. Images containing approximately 400 tracheids each are processed by ImageJ, public software available from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Measurements include the distribution of radial and tangential diameters and wall thicknesses, from which local density can be estimated and applied to improved estimates of carbon storage. Over time, measurements from Ring Profiler can increase our understanding of tree response to stress.
- Check the Northern Research Station web site to request a printed copy of this publication.
- Our on-line publications are scanned and captured using Adobe Acrobat.
- During the capture process some typographical errors may occur.
- Please contact Sharon Hobrla, email@example.com if you notice any errors which make this publication unusable.
- We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
- This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
CitationVahey, David W.; Scott, C. Tim; Zhu, J.Y.; Skog, Kenneth E. 2012. Ring profiler: A new method for estimating tree-ring density for improved estimates of carbon storage. In: Morin, Randall S.; Liknes, Greg C., comps. Moving from status to trends: Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) symposium 2012; 2012 December 4-6; Baltimore, MD. Gen. Tech. Rep. NRS-P-105. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station. [CD-ROM]: 386-390.
Keywordsstatistics, estimation, sampling, modeling, remote sensing, forest health, data integrity, environmental monitoring, cover estimation, international forest monitoring
- Analysis of tracheid development in suppressed-growth Ponderosa Pine using the FPL ring profiler
- Wood density and anatomical properties in suppressed-growth trees : comparison of two methods
Comparison of SilviScan and optical imaging measurements of tracheid dimensions and wood density
XML: View XML