5.16.00 - Wood identification



Special Edition 2020 of IAWA Journal on Wood Identification was Published

The special edition of IAWA Journal 2020: 41(4) on Wood Identification “Advancing Wood Identification - Anatomical and Molecular Techniques”, edited by Yafang Yin, Alex Wiedenhoeft and Lloyd Donaldson was published on November 12, 2020.

It contains 14 original papers and one review article emphasizing recent research development in wood identification. Further details will be available by visiting the IAWA Journal (https://brill.com/view/journals/iawa/41/4/iawa.41.issue-4.xml). The hard copy of this special edition can be ordered from IAWA Leiden Office (iawa.financial.office@gmail.com).

The editing of this special issue is to leverage the success of the IAWA-IUFRO international symposium “Challenges and opportunities for updating wood identification” organized in May 2019 in Beijing, and to disseminate wood identification research advances. All colleagues from the 2019 IAWA-IUFRO international symposium and this special issue of the IAWA Journal is gratefully acknowledged. 

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About Unit

This IUFRO Research Group will contribute to academic exchanges and cooperation among global wood identification scientists in the field of collection and exchange of wood specimens, and development of wood identification methods. As an important part of the Division 5, it is significant to promote sustainable utilization of forest products and legal timber trade. This Unit of IUFRO will also play a key role to cooperate with IAWA on the research development of wood identification. Its goals are:

  1. Establishment of a global network of wood collections and wood properties databases to share relevant data and information for wood identification.
  2. Promotion of the research cooperation among wood anatomists and relevant scientists worldwide to develop innovative and accurate wood identification tools.
  3. Promotion of the conservation of tree species diversity, legal and sustainable trade in the timber industry chains.

State of Knowledge

Use of wood anatomy for identification has been well-established for more than 100 years, and its ability to separate to genus or species groups was, and is, adequate for most purposes. But today’s identification requirements are more extensive than before. Separation to species and determination of provenance, are now important for enforcement of legal logging. Therefore, new methods, i.e. DNA, computer vision, chemical fingerprint, stable isotope etc., are needed to supplement wood anatomy-based identifications, which are under development with varying degrees of success. The new Unit will strengthen exchanges and cooperation on identification methods among international wood identification experts through the organization of international academic conferences, evaluate the potentials of the new methods and suggest ways they can be used in tandem with wood anatomy to solve new problems.

Meanwhile, wood specimens are important foundation of wood identification research. It is of great significance to enhance the academic value of the wood collection to carry out global collection and exchange of wood specimens and achieve the sharing of specimen resources and information.