REVIEW OF MACROSCOPIC FEATURES FOR HARDWOOD AND SOFTWOOD IDENTIFICATION AND A PROPOSAL FOR A NEW CHARACTER LIST

In: IAWA Journal

With the adoption of a number of anti-illegal logging laws, treaties, memoranda, and international agreements around the world, there is broad and renewed interest in wood identification, especially in the field at the macroscopic level. In response to this interest, and to begin to fill an obvious gap in the corpus of wood anatomical reference material, we review several prominent English-language publications on macroscopic wood identification in order to form a list of characters. We compile characters and organize them in the spirit of the IAWA lists for hardwood and softwood microscopic identification, present the state of the art as it exists, attempt to reconcile the different sets of definitions, characters, and character states, then present our proposed working-list. It is our intent with this publication to open an international discussion regarding the standardization of macroscopic wood identification features, and it is our hope that such a discussion can include critical works from the non-English literature. We also call for an illustrated glossary to accompany the proposed list. A standard lexicon to describe wood at the macroscopic level will simplify the preparation of identification documents and permit the ready translation of keys and other references for easy use and deployment around the world.

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