Disentangling tree growth requires more than ring width only. Although X-ray densitometry is an established technique to determine key wood density parameters, tedious manual procedures hamper fast analyses. De Mil et al. present an X-ray computed tomography toolchain to enable high-throughput density profiling of large sets of increment cores.
The obtained 3D archive is analysed via software routines with which traditional tree-ring analysis, as well as semi-automated density-based pattern matching, can be performed. The toolchain allows fast assessment of newly sampled increment cores, without any surface treatment or visual inspection. This offers the opportunity for large-scale screening of lesser-studied tree species, and improving current chronologies with sub-annual density information.
Tom De Mil, Astrid Vannoppen, Hans Beeckman, Joris Van Acker, Jan Van den Bulcke, 2016, 'A field-to-desktop toolchain for X-ray CT densitometry enables tree ring analysis', Annals of Botany, vol. 117, no. 7, pp. 1187-1196 http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/aob/mcw063