INSPIRING FUTURES

The effect of wind exposure on the tree aerial architecture and biomechanics of Sitka Spruce (picea sitchenisis Bong.).

Gardiner, Barry A and Brüchert, F (2006) The effect of wind exposure on the tree aerial architecture and biomechanics of Sitka Spruce (picea sitchenisis Bong.). American Journal of Botany, 93 (10). pp. 1512-1521. ISSN 0002-9122

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Abstract/Description

This paper reports on the effect of wind loading below damaging strength on tree mechanical and physical properties. In a wind-exposed Sitka spruce stand in western Scotland, 60 trees at four different levels of wind exposure (10 m, 30 m, 50 m, 90 m from edge) were characterized for stem and crown size and shape and mechanical properties, including structural Young's modulus (Estruct), natural frequency, and damping ratio. Estruct increased from the stand edge to the mid-forest, but with a large inter-tree variation. Swaying frequency and damping ratio of the trees also increased with distance from edge. Wind-exposed edge trees grew shorter, but more tapered with an overall lower Estruct, allowing for greater flexural stiffness at the stem base due to the larger diameter and for higher flexibility in the crown region of the stem. The trees at the middle of the stand compensated for their increased slenderness with a higher Estruct. Thus, for the different requirements for wind-firmness at stand edge and mid-forest, an adapted combination of tree form and mechanical properties allows the best withstanding of wind loads. The results show the requirement to understand the different strategies of trees to adapt to environmental constraints and the heterogeneity of their growth reactions in response to these strategies.

Item Type: Article
Print ISSN: 0002-9122
Additional Information: Gardiner, Barry - 3Forest Research, Northern Research Station, Roslin, Midlothian, EH25 9SY Bruchert, F. - 2Forest Research Institute Baden-Württemberg, Wonnhaldestr. 4, D-79100 Freiburg, Germany
Uncontrolled Keywords: architecture; biomechanics; crown size and shape; damping ratio; structural Young's modulus; swaying frequency
Dewey Decimal Subjects: 600 Technology > 630 Agriculture > > 634.9 Forestry
700 Arts & recreation > 720 Architecture > 720 Architecture
500 Science > 580 Plants (Botany) > 581 Specific topics in natural history
Library of Congress Subjects: Q Science > QK Botany
S Agriculture > SD Forestry
N Fine Arts > NA Architecture
Item ID: 1980
Depositing User: RAE Import
Date Deposited: 10 Jun 2008 11:35
Last Modified: 09 Mar 2009 11:24
URI: http://researchrepository.napier.ac.uk/id/eprint/1980

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