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    Wood specific gravity (SG) is widely employed by ecologists as a key variable in estimates of biomass. When it is important to have nondestructive methods for sampling wood for SG measurements, cores are extracted with an increment borer. While boring is a relatively difficult task even at breast height sampling, it is impossible at ground level and arduous at heights above a couple of meters. Therefore, if a nondestructive estimate of the biomass of a whole stem is required, the variation of SG with height must be known. Here we look at the SG variation with height of five tropical trees, four of which belong to species that have been shown to have extreme variation in pith to bark SG. The results suggest that patterns of variation in SG with height are different among species, and there is no generalized pattern across species.

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    Wiemann, Michael C.; Williamson, G. Bruce. 2014. Wood Specific Gravity Variation with Height and Its Implications for Biomass Estimation. USDA Forest Service, Forest Products Laboratory, Research Paper, FPL-RP-677, 2014; 12 p.


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    biomass, increment borers, tree cores, height, wood specific gravity

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