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    Author(s): Tuo He; João Marco; Richard Soares; Yafang Yin; Alex Wiedenhoeft
    Date: 2019
    Source: Forests
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    Station: Forest Products Laboratory
    PDF: Download Publication  (3.0 MB)


    Illegal logging and associated trade aggravate the over-exploitation of Swietenia species, of which S. macrophylla King, S. mahagoni (L.) Jacq, and S. humilis Zucc. have been listed in Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) Appendix II. Implementation of CITES necessitates the development of efficient forensic tools to identify wood species accurately, and ideally ones readily deployable in wood anatomy laboratories across the world. Herein, a method using quantitative wood anatomy data in combination with machine learning models to discriminate between three Swietenia species is presented, in addition to a second model focusing only on the two historically more important species S. mahagoni and S. macrophylla. The intra and inter-specifc variations in nine quantitative wood anatomical characters were measured and calculated based on 278 wood specimens, and four machine learning classifers—Decision Tree C5.0, Naïve Bayes (NB), Support Vector Machine (SVM), and Artifcial Neural Network (ANN)—were used to discriminate between the species. Among these species, S. macrophylla exhibited the largest intraspecifc variation, and all three species showed at least partly overlapping values for all nine characters. SVM performed the best of all the classifers, with an overall accuracy of 91.4% and a per-species correct identifcation rate of 66.7%, 95.0%, and 80.0% for S. humilis, S. macrophylla, and S. mahagoni, respectively. The two-species model discriminated between S. macrophylla and S. mahagoni with accuracies of over 90.0% using SVM. These accuracies are lower than perfect forensic certainty but nonetheless demonstrate that quantitative wood anatomy data in combination with machine learning models can be applied as an efficient tool to discriminate anatomically between similar species in the wood anatomy laboratory. It is probable that a range of previously anatomically inseparable species may become identifable by incorporating in-depth analysis of quantitative characters and appropriate statistical classifers.

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    He, Tuo; Marco, João; Soares, Richard; Yin, Yafang; Wiedenhoeft, Alex. 2019. Machine learning models with quantitative wood anatomy data can discriminate between Swietenia macrophylla and Swietenia mahagoni. Forests. 11(1): 36.


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    CITES, machine learning, quantitative wood anatomy, SVM, Swietenia

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