Effect of altitude and aspect on various wood properties ofOriental beech (Fagus orientalis Lipsky) wood


Abstract: In this study it was proposed to investigate the effect of altitude and aspect on anatomical properties, wood density, and mechanical properties of Oriental beech (Fagus orientalis Lipsky) growing in Sinop, Turkey. Five altitude steps (0-200, 200-400, 400-600, 600-800, and 800-1000 m) and two aspect groups (north and south) were created in the research area. A total of 20 trees were cut from each altitude step and the north and south aspects. To determine the anatomical properties of wood, permanent slides were prepared and Schultze's method was used for measurement of fibers. Wood density and mechanical properties were examined according to appropriate standards. As the altitude increased, the diameter of vessels narrowed, the number of vessels in 1 mm2 increased, and the vessel length and fiber length decreased. It was determined that trees growing in the third altitude step (400-600 m) had the highest density values, and those in first altitude step (0-200 m) had the lowest density values. Additionally, most of the mechanical properties and hardness values of the wood were lowest in the first altitude step (0-200 m), while these values were highest in the third altitude step (400-600 m). When using categories of Oriental beech wood in the forest products industry, the altitude factor should be taken into consideration more than the aspect factor. Knowledge of anatomical, physical, and mechanical properties of Oriental beech wood according to altitude and aspect can be useful in forest products industry.

Keywords: Altitude, aspect, Oriental beech, wood anatomy, wood density, wood mechanics

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