Beskydy 2017, 10, 41-48

Application of Raman spectroscopy to analyse lignin/cellulose ratio in Norway spruce tree rings

Petr Vítek, Karel Klem, Otmar Urban

Global Change Research Institute CAS, Bělidla 4a, 603 00 Brno, Czech Republic

Tree cores of Picea abies trees (>75 years old) from two different elevations (400 and 1100 m a.s.l.) in the Jeseníky Mountains were examined. Raman spectroscopy was used to analyse lignin/cellulose ratio in the latewood of individual tree rings from the last 35 years. The ratio was calculated based on the Raman intensity of the lignin band at ~1600 cm–1 assigned to phenyl groups and cellulose band at ~1096 cm–1 based on a vibration of glycosidic bonds. The results show a clear difference in lignin/cellulose ratios in trees from high and low elevations, while similar trends in lignin/cellulose ratios were found in tree cores originating from the same tree but different directions. Higher lignin/cellulose ratios were found at high elevation as compared to low elevation. The wood of spruces grown at high elevation also exhibited greater variability of lignin/cellulose ratios among individual tree rings as compared to trees from low elevation. A negative correlation between lignin/cellulose ratio and mean annual temperature was revealed. A weak positive correlation between lignin/cellulose ratio and total annual precipitation was also found. Redundancy analysis (RDA) showed a pronounced influence of precipitation in June. The results show great potential for Raman spectroscopy in tree-ring analysis.


This work was supported by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports of the Czech Republic within the National Sustainability Program I (NPU I), grant number LO1415.


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