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Forest Products Laboratory
One Gifford Pinchot Drive
Madison, WI 53726-2398
Phone: (608) 231-9200
Fax: (608) 231-9592


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Title: Identification of the origin of Big- leaf mahogany wood from five Latin American countries via NIRS and PLS-DA

Source: In: 2nd Workshop on application of NIR spectroscopy for wood science and technology research. The Italian Society for Near Infrared Spectroscopy – SISNIR, ISBN 978-88-941153-0-7

Author(s)daSilva, Diego C.; Braga, Jez W.B.; Soares, Liz F.; Bergo, Maria C.J.; Teixeira, Nayara C.deS.J.; Gontijo, Alexandre B.; da Costa, Nancy R.; Coradin, Vera T.R.; Wiedenhoeft, Alex C.; Pastore, Tereza C.M.

Publication Year: 2016  View PDF »

Category: Conference Proceedings
Associated Research Project(s):   FPL-4715-3

Abstract: The Big-leaf mahogany (Swietenia macrophylla) is a woody forest species that occurs naturally from North to South America starting in Mexico and ending in Bolivia and South of Brazilian Amazon [1]. Its wood has several desirable features such as beauty, workability and moderate resistance to pests. After decades of extensive selective logging and predatory exploration S. macrophylla (along with its congeners S. humilis and S. mahagoni) was included on Appendix II by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species - CITES as a species with potential risk of extinction. Thereby, the wood extraction is now gaining increased regulatory protection. The wood of the big leaf mahogany is often confused with Swietenia humilis and Swietenia mahagony in Central America countries where it was found even hybrid species. In Brazil, there are many native species whose woods are visually similar to S. macrophylla, and there is evidence that S. macrophylla has been smuggled under the guise of other species. Thus wood species identification procedures are essential to avoid illegal exploitation and trading and to ensure conservation. To botanically identify a species it is necessary to look at all its features including leaves, fruits, seeds and flowers. However, in everyday practice of timber species identification, the wood has already been logged and typically only boards are available. So, alternative methodologies are needed for correct wood identification. A method currently employed for this purpose is a combination of macroscopic and microscopic identification, where many wood characters such as density, color, smell, brightness, texture, growth rings, vessels, fibers and porosity of an unknown sample are compared with candidate species. When an expert wood anatomist is available to perform the identification this method can provide very forensically reliable results. Unfortunately, there are not enough experts to meet the demand. Therefore, the development of technological methods for wood identification that not require specialist knowledge can help to improve field-level inspections and identification as well as forensic level wood identification.

Keywords: NIRS; wood identification; illegal logging; provenance

Publication Review Process: Non-Refereed (Other)

File size: 484 kb(s)

Date posted: 09/20/2016
RITS Product ID: 81608
Current FPL Scientist associated with this product
Wiedenhoeft, Alex C.
Research Botanist

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