Growth attributes and wood properties of lesser-grown agroforestry tree species in the semi-arid zone for quality pulp and paper production
Keywords:Agroforestry, wood basic density, wood properties, pulp and paper quality, pulpwood tree species, semi-arid zone
Growth traits, wood properties, fibre dimensions and fibre derived indices of five lesser-grown agroforestry tree species viz., Ailanthus excelsa, Eucalyptus tereticornis, Leucaena leucocephala, Melia dubia and Neolamarckia cadamba were studied to evaluate the suitability of these species for pulp and paper production in the semi-arid zone of Bundelkhand, India. The result showed that there was a significant variation for all the studied traits. The range of all the studied growth and wood traits among five pulpwood trees were recorded for tree height (5.2-5.9 m), GBH (20-24 cm), volume (0.017-0.027 m3), biomass (8.50-15.28 kg), wood basic density (509.6-584.4 kg/m3), fibre length (819.8-1416.0 μm), fibre diameter (14.6-37.9 μm), fibre lumen diameter (7.5-29.8 μm), fibre double cell wall thickness (4.8-9.7 μm), Runkel ratio (0.23-0.94), Rigidity coefficient (0.19-0.49), Flexibility coefficient (51.54-81.44), Slenderness ratio (31.68-62.74) and Luce’s shape factor (0.20-0.58). Kadamb performed better, however all five species were found to be suitable for making good quality pulp and paper on the basis of wood properties and fibre derived indices grown in such hot and dry conditions. Tree height and GBH traits were positively influenced on the wood physical and anatomical properties, therefore these traits can be used as indirect selection for further improvement of the species which shown high potentiality for promising pulpwood tree species under agroforestry. Further, tree improvement research work required to test the suitable harvesting period for high pulp yield and better paper quality to fulfil the fastest growing demand of pulpwood for paper industries in India.
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