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On the development of a drill-borer for sampling tropical supra-hardwoods; a review of drill- an example using the Borneo Ironwood Eusideroxylon zwageri

Rosannah E. Williams, Mary Gagen Orcid Logo, Rory P.D. Walsh, Kawi Bidin

Dendrochronologia

Swansea University Author: Mary Gagen Orcid Logo

DOI (Published version): 10.1016/j.dendro.2015.07.004

Abstract

One of the greatest challenges to developing time series from non-annual ring forming tropical trees arises before sampling. Tropical trees can be exceptionally hard, often containing chemicals and minerals which make the wood near non-biodegradable. Such trees have considerable palaeoclimatic poten...

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Published in: Dendrochronologia
Published: 2015
URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa22963
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Abstract: One of the greatest challenges to developing time series from non-annual ring forming tropical trees arises before sampling. Tropical trees can be exceptionally hard, often containing chemicals and minerals which make the wood near non-biodegradable. Such trees have considerable palaeoclimatic potential due to their longevity but are challenging to sample non-destructively. The hardest of these trees, the Ironwoods, are often the target of sampling campaigns as their properties are associated with longevity. Our objective was to develop a low-technology drill-borer capable of extracting cores from the Borneo Ironwood (Eusideroxylon zwageri Teijsm. and Binn) of a suitable diameter for carrying out stable isotopic analysis and radiocarbon analysis (necessary for chronology development in non-annual ring forming trees). Due to the inaccessibility of tropical sampling field sites our criteria for development included: construction to be from readily available and replaceable parts; power to be derived from batteries; the main body to be of a weight and size appropriate to sampling in remote locations; a system operable with minimal training by a non-expert. The cores produced by our drill system were of high quality, and samples could successfully be taken from extremely hard trees without charring. This trial is the first successful non-destructive sampling of living E. zwageri, a species which has considerable palaeoclimatic potential.
Keywords: palaeoclimate, tree ring science, tropical dendroclimatology, sampling methods, core drill
College: College of Science