iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry


Physical, chemical and mechanical properties of Pinus sylvestris wood at five sites in Portugal

Cláudia Fernandes (1), Maria João Gaspar (1-2-3), Jani Pires (2), Ana Alves (3), Rita Simões (3), José Carlos Rodrigues (3), Maria Emília Silva (4-5), Ana Carvalho (1), José Eduardo Brito (1-2), José Luís Lousada (4-5)   

iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry, Volume 10, Issue 4, Pages 669-679 (2017)
doi: https://doi.org/10.3832/ifor2254-010
Published: Jul 11, 2017 - Copyright © 2017 SISEF

Research Articles

The reduction of resinous species in Portuguese forest areas has caused constraints to wood industry supplies. Portugal represents the extreme southwest of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris) natural distribution and large gaps exist in the knowledge of its wood-quality characteristics. Understanding the relationship between these traits is important for recognizing which combination of wood properties is the most suitable for specific uses. To address these questions, we assessed wood-quality traits, namely, wood-density components (microdensitometric analysis), chemical composition (NIR spectrometry) and mechanical properties (bending tests) of wood samples collected at five representative forest sites in Portugal. Our results showed that Portuguese Pinus sylvestris has good radial growth and denser wood, higher extractive content and higher stiffness and strength than northern European provenances. The lignin content was within the range attributed to softwoods. Among the Portuguese stands, trees growing at lower-altitude sites exhibited denser wood and higher mechanical properties, while trees from high-elevations showed higher amounts of lignin. Ring density was more strongly correlated with earlywood than latewood density. A negative, non-significant correlation was found between ring density and width, supporting the assumption that the higher radial growth (ring width) does not negatively affect wood quality (density). In general, chemical properties had a weak relationship with physical and mechanical properties (MOE and MOR). Both mechanical traits were positively correlated with density and growth components, supporting the assumption that trees with high radial growth do not exhibit poorer mechanical performances.


Bending Tests, Correlations, Mechanical Traits, NIR Spectrometry, Scots Pine, Wood-Density Components, Wood Quality, X-ray Microdensitometry

Authors’ address

Cláudia Fernandes
Maria João Gaspar
Ana Carvalho
José Eduardo Brito
BioISI - Biosystems & Integrative Sciences Institute, Faculty of Sciences University of Lisboa, C8 BDG Campo Grande (Portugal)
Maria João Gaspar
Jani Pires
José Eduardo Brito
Department of Genetics and Biotechnology (DGB), University of Tras-os-Montes and Alto Douro, 5001-801 Vila Real (Portugal)
Maria João Gaspar
Ana Alves
Rita Simões
José Carlos Rodrigues
Centro de Estudos Florestais (CEF), Instituto Superior de Agronomia, Universidade de Lisboa, Tapada da Ajuda, 1349-017 Lisboa (Portugal)
Maria Emília Silva
José Luís Lousada
Department of Forestry Sciences and Landscape (CIFAP), University of Tras-os-Montes and Alto Douro, 5001-801 Vila Real (Portugal)
Maria Emília Silva
José Luís Lousada
Centre for the Research and Technology of Agro-Environmental and Biological Sciences (CITAB), University of Tras-os-Montes and Alto Douro, 5001-801 Vila Real (Portugal)

Corresponding author

José Luís Lousada


Fernandes C, Gaspar MJ, Pires J, Alves A, Simões R, Rodrigues JC, Silva ME, Carvalho A, Brito JE, Lousada JL (2017). Physical, chemical and mechanical properties of Pinus sylvestris wood at five sites in Portugal. iForest 10: 669-679. - doi: 10.3832/ifor2254-010

Academic Editor

Giacomo Goli

Paper history

Received: Oct 18, 2016
Accepted: Mar 28, 2017

First online: Jul 11, 2017
Publication Date: Aug 31, 2017
Publication Time: 3.50 months

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