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The evaluation of margo porosity in relationship to wood permeability of douglas fir (Pseudotsuga Menziesii (Mirb.) Franco) Chan, Cho-Kai

Abstract

Longitudinal air permeability measurements of Douglas-fir [Pseudotsuga menziesii (Mirb.) Franco] outer sapwood from three trees of different seed sources and growth locations were determined on microsections about 500-700 microns thick, dried by air-seasoning and solvent-seasoning. The specimens were successively reduced in length from 3.6 to 0.4 cm. Darcy's law was found to be invalid with respect to specimen length. Sapwood earlywood longitudinal air permeability was found to be a sensitive barometer of seasoning effect on pit aspiration. The objective was to determine where the variations in margo porosity were significant, and hence applicable to problem of Douglas-fir permeability. The diameters of earlywood margo openings were measured directly from electron micrographs of un-aspirated (solvent-seasoned) pits. The margo measurement was assumed to represent one plane instead of the actual three dimensional structure, and the pores observed were the ones that controlled the rate of flow. Samples from the most, intermediately and least permeable specimens were selected and prepared for the evaluation of anatomical parameters of bordered pit membranes (margo area and margo porosity) as related to permeability. The effects of pit aspiration, tracheid length, total number of pits per tracheid, number of tracheids per square millimeter, and specific gravity on permeability were also assessed. Pit partial aspiration was found as the most important variable correlated with permeability. In an order of decreasing importance, pit partial aspiration, margo porosity and specific gravity together accounted for 94 per cent of total variability in permeability of solvent-seasoned earlywood. No statistical evaluations were made to compare the three trees with respect to their permeability and the measured parameters.

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