Tree dimension and environmental correlates of heartwood content in Siamese rosewood (Dalbergia cochinchinensis)




Abstract. Meunpong P, Penboon C, Kuasakun N, Wachrinrat C. 2021. Tree dimension and environmental correlates of heartwood content in Siamese rosewood (Dalbergia cochinchinensis). Biodiversitas 22: 3297-3303. Siamese rosewood (Dalbergia cochinchinensis) is considered amongst the prime timber varieties in high demand with the wood fetching high prices in the international timber market. Therefore, illegal logging and smuggling of Siamese rosewood from natural forests poses a severe problem in Thailand. Heartwood and its content is the most valuable part of Siamese rosewood, which in practice, cannot be measured directly in living trees. Hence, we investigated the relationship between the heartwood content of Siamese rosewood, and tree dimension and environmental characteristics across eleven plantations throughout Thailand construct a model for predicting the heartwood content using specific environmental variables. The results indicate that there were differences in the mean annual increment of all measurement parameters (d0, d30, dbh, and total height of a tree) across eleven plantations studied. However, we did not find any statistically significant differences between the increments in heartwood diameter. Furthermore, we found that suitable location for Siamese rosewood plantation could result in doubling of growth rate. We report that dbh was the most relevant variable and could be used as a predictor for heartwood content. In terms of environmental variables, soil properties at top layer that affect the heartwood content were particle density, organic matter, and silt particles. Using the resulted equation formulated in this study may be useful when planning areas for suitable plantations of Siamese rosewood in Thailand.


Aerts R, Hugo V, Nalinee TR, Rony S, Bart M. 2009. Site requirements of the endangered rosewood Dalbergia oliveri in a tropical deciduous forest in northern Thailand. For Ecol Manag 259 (1): 117–123. DOI: 10.1016/j.foreco.2009.09.051.
Bektas I, Hakki A, Yener G, Alaaddin Y, Recep G. 2003. Influence of site on sapwood and heartwood ratios of Turkish Calabrian pine. For Prod J 53 (4): 48–50.
Björklund L. 1999. Identifying heartwood-rich stands or stems of Pinus sylvestris by using inventory data. Silva Fennica 33 (2): 119–129. DOI: 10.14214/sf.662.
Bréchet C. 1995. Original article element analysis of tree rings in pedunculate oak heartwood?: an indicator of historical trends in the soil chemistry, related to atmospheric deposition. Ann Sci For 53: 685–696.
Bush D, Kevin M, Roger M. 2011. Genetic variation of natural durability traits in Eucalyptus cladocalyx (Sugar gum). Ann For Sci 68: 1057–1066. DOI: 10.1007/s13595-011-0121-z.
Casadei E, Albert J. 2015. Encyclopedia of Food and Health. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Rome.
CITES. 2014. Trade in Siamese Rosewood (Dalbergia Cochinchinensis) from Thailand. The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), Geneva.
Climent J, Chambel MR, Pérez E, Gil L, Pardos J. 2002. Relationship between heartwood radius and early radial growth, tree age, and climate in Pinus canariensis. Can J For Res 32 (1): 103–111. DOI: 10.1139/x01-178.
EIA. 2014. Routes of extinction: the corruption and violence destroying Siamese rosewood in the Mekong. Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA), UK.
Ericsson T, Fries A. 1999. High heritability for heartwood in North Swedish Scots pine. Theor Appl Genet 98: 732–735.
Gartner BL, Morrell JJ, Freitag CM, Rachel S. 1999. Heartwood decay resistance by vertical and radial position in Douglas-fir trees from a young stand. Can J For Res 29 (12): 1993–1996.
Gilman EF, Dennis GW, Ryan WK, Andrew KK, Deborah RH, Drew CM. 2018. Dalbergia Sissoo?: Indian Rosewood. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Florida.
Gjerdrum P. 2003. Heartwood in relation to age and growth rate in Pinus sylvestris L. in Scandinavia. J For 76 (4): 413–424. DOI: 10.1093/forestry/76.4.413.
Inthacha S. 2011. The climatology of Thailand and future climate change projections using the regional climate model precis. [Dissertation]. University of East Anglia, Norwich.
IUCN. 2008. Dalbergia cochinchinensis (Siamese rosewood). International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Gland.
Jalota RK, Sangha KK. 2000. Comparative ecological-economic analysis of growth performance of exotic Eucalyptus tereticornis and indigenous Dalbergia sissoo in mono-culture plantations. Ecol Econom 33 (3): 487–495. DOI: 10.1016/S0921-8009(00)00133-6.
Kaminski J, Michael D, Nilesh T. 2019. Factors relating to dark heart of Sugar maple in Wisconsin. J For 117 (3): 256–266. DOI: 10.1093/jofore/fvz013.
Knoke T. 2003. Predicting red heartwood formation in Beech trees (Fagus sylvatica L.). Ecol Model 169 (2–3): 295–312. DOI: 10.1016/S0304-3800(03)00276-X.
Långström, B, Claes H. 1991. Effects of different pruning regimes on growth and sapwood area of Scots pine. For Ecol Manag 44 (2–4): 239–254. DOI: 10.1016/0378-1127(91)90011-J.
Maria V, Baptista G. 2020. Heartwood variation of Eucalyptus urophylla is influenced by climatic conditions. For Ecol Manag 458: 1–10. DOI: 10.1016/j.foreco.2019.117743.
Moya R, Gaitán-Álvarez J, Ortiz-Malavassi E, Berrocal A, Fernández-Sólis D. 2020. Equations for predicting heartwood merchantable volume and tradable sawlog in Tectona grandis. J Trop For Sci 32 (4): 379–90. DOI: 10.26525/jtfs2020.32.4.379.
Moya R, Brian B, Henry Q. 2014. A review of heartwood properties of Tectona grandis trees from fast-growth plantations. Wood Sci Technol 48 (2): 411–33. DOI: 10.1007/s00226-014-0618-3.
Naranjo SS, Moya R, Chauhan S. 2012. Early genetic evaluation of morphology and some wood properties of Tectona grandis L. clones. Silvae Genet 61 (1–2): 58–65. DOI: 10.1515/sg-2012-0008.
National Soil Survey Center. 2014. Kellogg Soil Survey Laboratory Methods Manual. United States Department of Agriculture, Washington DC.
Nawrot M, Pazdrowski W, Szyma?ski M. 2008. Dynamics of heartwood formation and axial and radial distribution of sapwood and heartwood in stems of European larch (Larix decidua Mill.). J For Sci 9: 409–417.
Okuyama T, Yamamoto H, Wahyudi I, Bhat K. 2000. Growth stresses and some wood quality attributes in planted Teak. Proceeding of IUFRO Congress. Kuala Lumpur, 7-12 August 2000.
Pande PK. 2013. Influence of growth, wood anatomical properties and specific gravity on heartwood, sapwood and tension-wood in Dalbergia sissoo Roxb. J Indian Acad Wood Sci 10 (1): 16–21. DOI: 10.1007/s13196-013-0087-6.
Pazdrowski W, Tomasz J, Arkadiusz T, Ireneusz S, Stanis?aw S. 2007. Proportion of sapwood and heartwood and selected biometric features in Larch trees (Larix decidua Mill.). Wood Res 52(4): 1–16.
Pérez D, Kanninen M. 2003. Heartwood, sapwood and bark content, and wood dry density of young and mature Teak (Tectona grandis) trees grown in Costa Rica. Silva Fenn 37 (1): 45–54. DOI: 10.14214/sf.511.
Phongoudome C, Lee DK, Silavanh S, Marilyn SC, Wai MH. 2012. Biomass and carbon content allocation of six-year-old Anisoptera costata Korth., and Dalbergia cochinchinensis Pierre, plantations in Lao PDR. J Agric Res Man 259: 1–14. DOI: 10.7237/sjarm/259.
Phunchaisri T, Chongrak W, Ponthep M, Suwan T, Nawaphong K. 2020. Site index of Siamese rosewood (Dalbergia cochinchinensis Pierre) in plantation of Thailand. Biotropia 27 (2): 162–170. DOI: 10.11598/btb.2020.27.2.1199.
R Core Team. 2020. The R project for statistical computing.
Rao RV, Sujatha M. 2003. Variation in basic density and anatomical properties of plantation grown Acacia mangium. J Timber Dev Assoc 50(3–4): 12–17.
Rink G. 1987. Heartwood color and quantity variation. Wood Fiber Sci 19(1): 93–100.
Rishi LB, Sidhu DS. 2002. Effect of environment on heartwood amount in Dalbergia sissoo Roxb. in different climatic zones of Punjab. Indian For 128(7): 779–785.
Roque RM, Perez D. 2008. Effects of physical and chemical soil properties on physical wood characteristics of Tectona grandis plantations in Costa Rica. J Trop For Sci 20(4): 248–257.
Sahri MH, Bokhari S. 2003. Heartwood proportion in Acacia species of various age groups planted in Sabah. Proceeding of International Symposium on Sustainable Utilization of Acacia mangium. Kyoto University, Kyoto, 21–22 October 2003.
Sellin A. 1996. Sapwood amount in Picea abies (L.) Karst. determined by tree age and radial growth rate. Holzforschung 50: 291–296. DOI: 10.1515/hfsg.1996.50.4.291.
Taylor AM, Barbara LG, Jeffrey JM. 2002. Heartwood formation and natural durability - A review. Wood Fiber Sci 34(4): 587–611.
Treanor NB. 2015. Hongmu consumption boom: Analysis of the Chinese rosewood trade and links.
Tyagi K, Sharma SD, Tyagi P. 2009. Development of biomass and productivity in an age series of Dalbergia sissoo plantations in sodic lands of Uttar Pradesh. Ann For Sci 17: 219–233.
United Nations. 2015. Rosewood logs. United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Rome.
Wilkes J. 1991. Heartwood development and its relationship to growth in Pinus radiata. Wood Sci Technol 25: 85–90. DOI: 10.1007/BF00226808.
Woeste KE. 2002. Heartwood production in a 35-year-old Black walnut progeny test. Can J For Res 32 (1): 177–81. DOI: 10.1139/x01-177.
Xu FZC. 2016. Identification of Dalbergia cochinchinensis (CITES Appendix II) from other three Dalbergia species using FT-IR and 2D correlation IR spectroscopy. Wood Sci Technol 50 (4): 693–704. DOI: 10.1007/s00226-016-0815-3.
Yang B, Hongyan J, Zhigang Z, Shengjiang P, Daoxiong C. 2020. Horizontal and vertical distributions of Heartwood for Teak plantation. Forests 11(2): 225. DOI: 10.3390/f11020225.
Yang K, Hazenberg G. 1991. Relationship between tree age and sapwood/heartwood width in Populus tremuloides Michx. Wood Sci Technol 23(2): 247–252.
Yang K, Hazenberg G. 1992. Impact of spacings on sapwood and heartwood thickness in Picea mariana (Mill.) B.S.P. and Picea glauca (Moench.) Voss. Wood Sci Technol 24(3): 330–336.
Zobel BJ, Jett JB. 1995. Genetics of Wood Production. Springer-Verlag, New York.