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Type: Thesis
Title: Timber tracking: multi-isotope analysis for provenancing Bigleaf maple wood in the Pacific Northwest
Author: Guy, C. J.
Issue Date: 2015
School/Discipline: School of Physical Sciences
Abstract: Tracking timber back to its point of origin is crucial in order to prevent illegal logging and preserve our natural forests. Stable isotope ratios can provide useful information on the geographic origin of trees due to differences based on surrounding environmental, climatic and geological conditions in which the plant grew. Thus isotope ratios of wood can provide a screening tool to assist in ruling whether timber comes from a legal or illegal source. In this study we analysed three light stable isotopes and one heavy stable isotope in order to develop a model able to propose a zone of geographic origin of Bigleaf maple (Acer macrophyllum) in the Pacific Northwest of North America. Oxygen (δ18O), carbon (δ13C) and nitrogen (δ15N) isotope ratios were measured in α-cellulose and whole-wood of Bigleaf maple sampled in 73 trees from four different states (California, Oregon, Washington and British Columbia). In addition strontium (87Sr/86Sr) ratios of 10 trees were measured across this range. The relationships between these isotope ratios were examined based on geographic, climatic and geologic information in order to attempt to distinguish trees from different locations. To test the method, five blind samples were analysed to yield a proposed zone of origin. Carbon and nitrogen ratios did not show coherent geographic trends in this species across the sampled region. However, oxygen and strontium ratios revealed spatial patterns with distance from the coast and latitude. Using oxygen, blind test samples were able to be distinguished in some cases at a state level. We conclude that δ18O and87Sr /86Sr ratios provide the most promising methods for identifying latitudinal and longitudinal origin, respectively.
Dissertation Note: Thesis (B.Sc.(Hons)) -- University of Adelaide, School of Physical Sciences, 2015
Where: Pacific Northwest America
Keywords: Honours; Geology; isotope; geochemistry; timber tracking; wood provenance; geographic origin; illegal logging; Pacific Northwest America
Description: This item is only available electronically.
Provenance: This electronic version is made publicly available by the University of Adelaide in accordance with its open access policy for student theses. Copyright in this thesis remains with the author. This thesis may incorporate third party material which has been used by the author pursuant to Fair Dealing exceptions. If you are the author of this thesis and do not wish it to be made publicly available, or you are the owner of any included third party copyright material you wish to be removed from this electronic version, please complete the take down form located at:
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