Assessing intra-annual density fluctuations across and along white pine stems

Elise W. Miller, Tim Rademacher, Patrick Fonti, Bijan Seyednasrollah, Andrew D. Richardson

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Intra-annual density fluctuations (IADFs) are triggered by environmental cues, but whether they are distributed uniformly throughout the stem is not well documented. The spatial distribution of IADFs could help us understand variations in cambial sensitivity to environmental cues throughout the tree. We investigate how IADF distribution varies radially, longitudinally, and circumferentially within white pine (Pinus strobus L.) stems. We took wood samples at breast height, near branches, and at the top of the trees. We identified IADFs visually and measured their radial position within a ring as well as their circumferential arc in cross-sections. Intra-annual density fluctuations occurred in 22.2% of rings. The radial position of IADFs within a ring was remarkably consistent at roughly 80% of the total annual radial increment across heights, trees, and years of formation. The main factors affecting the likelihood of IADF occurrence were ring width, year of formation, and the interaction between the two. Being near branches or at the top of the tree slightly increased the probability of occurrence. Though the sample size was not large enough to provide conclusive results about the circumferential distribution of IADFs, our data suggest that the circumferential arc of the IADFs might be conserved throughout the stem.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)583-591
Number of pages9
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2022


  • Carbon
  • Climate
  • False rings
  • IADFs
  • White pine
  • Wood anatomy
  • Wood density
  • Wood formation
  • Xylogenesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology
  • Plant Science


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