Blackening of sugi (Cryptomeria japonicaD. Don) heartwood in relation to metal content and moisture content

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Blackening in heartwood was investigated in relation to the metal contents and the moisture content in xylem of about 50-year-old seedling sugi (Cryptomeria japonica D. Don) planted in a steeply sloped stand in Okutama district (Itsukaichi Tokyo), where blackened heartwood is frequently found. The potassium, calcium, iron, and manganese contents were examined in the variously blackened heartwood and normal heartwood by an atomic absorption method. It was recognized that potassium increased relative to the degree of the blackening of heartwood, resulting in a significant correlation between them. This finding implies that an increase in potassium has an important role in the blackening of heartwood. Moisture content has a tendency to increase in the blackened heartwood, so it seems that the large accumulation of potassium is associated with the high moisture content in heartwood.

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