Variations in wood density, annual ring width and vessel properties of quercus brantii affected by crown dieback

Forough Soheili, Stephen Woodward, Isaac Almasi, Hazandy Abdul-Hamid, Hamid Reza Naji*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
8 Downloads (Pure)


Tree decline due to climate change results in physiological weaknesses, attacks by harmful pests and pathogens and threats to forest ecosystem stability. In the work described here, the effects of drought on wood density, tree ring width and variations in vessel morphology are investigated in Persian oak (Quercus brantii) in the forest of the Zagros Mountains, Ilam Province, western Iran. Discs are cut from trunks of declined and healthy trees and woodblocks are cut radially from the sapwood near the bark, at a mid-point between the vascular cambium and the pith (middle) and from wood near the pith. Observations are made on transverse sections from the blocks using microscopy. In trees with decline symptoms, wood density is greater than in healthy trees. Furthermore, declining trees have the narrowest ring width, reduced vessel diameter and area and the highest numbers of vessels and tylose in pith towards the bark. It is concluded that changes in anatomical features are associated with the weakening of trees and are components of declining tree health.

Original languageEnglish
Article number642
Number of pages13
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 19 May 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding: This research received no external funding.
Acknowledgments: We would like to thank A. Hawasi and S. Soltani for their kind help during this work.


  • Anatomy
  • Climate change
  • Quercus brantii
  • Tree decline
  • Wood density


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