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Assessing the Accuracy of Three Commonly used Pith Offset Methods Applied to Agathis australis (Kauri) Incremental Cores

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-03, 14:37 authored by Maryann Pirie, Anthony Fowler, Christopher Triggs
Knowing the number of rings from the pith to the last cross-dated ring on incremental cores is important for regional curve standardisation, for constructing the best chronology by excluding rings formed when the tree was young, and for forest stand dynamics and regeneration studies. As the pith is rarely present on the samples an estimate of the distance to the pith is required. The aim of this paper is to assess the accuracy of three commonly used pith offset estimation methods for estimating pith offsets from kauri incremental cores. Literature identifies three main approaches for estimating pith offsets: Duncan’s geometric model, the concentric circles method (CCM), and the radius-length method. The accuracy of Geometric and CMM were assessed using virtual cores constructed from an Agathis australis (Kauri) cross-section. Then the estimates for all three methods were applied to a subset of the kauri incremental cores database. The most accurate method for estimating the pith offset for kauri trees was found to be geometric method, followed by CCM. However, these approaches could only be used to estimate the pith offset for a few cores as they require the core to pass close enough to the pith so that there is visible curvature on the cores. For most cores the radius-length method is the only method available for estimating the pith offset. This method relies on the assumption that the pith is located at the geometric centre of the tree which may not be a valid assumption for some species.


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Pirie, M. R., Fowler, A. M., & Triggs, C. M. (2015). Assessing the accuracy of three commonly used pith offset methods applied to Agathis australis (Kauri) incremental cores. Dendrochronologia, 36, 60-68. doi:10.1016/j.dendro.2015.10.003