Models for predicting microfibril angle variation in Scots pine

David Auty, Barry A. Gardiner, Alexis Achim, John R. Moore, Andrew D. Cameron

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


Context: Microfibril angle (MFA) is one of the key determinants of solid timber performance due to its strong influence on the stiffness, strength, shrinkage properties and dimensional stability of wood. Aims: The aim of this study was to develop a model for predicting MFA variation in plantation-grown Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L). A specific objective was to quantify the additional influence of growth rate on the radial variation in MFA. Methods: Twenty-three trees were sampled from four mature Scots pine stands in Scotland, UK. Pith-to-bark MFA profiles were obtained on 69 radial samples using scanning X-ray diffractometry. A nonlinear mixed-effects model based on a modified Michaelis-Menten equation was developed using cambial age and annual ring width as explanatory variables. Results: The largest source of variation in MFA (>90 %) was within trees, while between-tree variation represented just 7 % of the total. Microfibril angle decreased rapidly near the pith before reaching stable values in later annual rings. The effect of ring width on MFA was greater at higher cambial ages. Conclusion: A large proportion of the variation in MFA was explained by the fixed effects of cambial age and annual ring width. The final model is intended for integration into growth, yield and wood quality simulation systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)209-218
Number of pages10
JournalAnnals of Forest Science
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Growth rate
  • Microfibril angle
  • Nonlinear mixed-effects models
  • Pinus sylvestris
  • Radial variation
  • Ring width

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Forestry
  • Ecology


Dive into the research topics of 'Models for predicting microfibril angle variation in Scots pine'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this