Evaluating basic density calibrations based on NIR spectra recorded on the three wood faces and subject to different mathematical treatments

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Evelize A. Amaral
Luana M. dos Santos
Paulo R.G. Hein
Emylle V.S. Costa
Sebastião Carlos S. Rosado
Paulo F. Trugilho


NIR signature, multivariate statistics, wood properties, Eucalyptus timber, hardwood plantations


Background: Near infrared (NIR) spectroscopy has been successfully applied to estimate the chemical, physical and mechanical properties of various biological materials, including wood. This study aimed to evaluate basic density calibrations based on NIR spectra collected from three wood faces and subject to different mathematical treatments.

Methods: Diffuse reflectance NIR spectra were recorded using an integrating sphere on the transverse, radial and tangential surfaces of 278 wood specimens of Eucalyptus urophylla x Eucalyptus grandis. Basic density of the wood specimens was determined in the laboratory by the immersion method and correlated with NIR spectra by Partial Least Squares regression. Different statistical treatments were then applied to the data, including Standard Normal Variate, Multiplicative Scatter Correction, First and Second Derivatives, Normalization, Autoscale and MeanCenter transformations.

Results: The predictive model based on NIR spectra measured on the transverse surface performed the best (R²cv = 0.85 and RMSE = 25.5 kg/m³) while the model developed from the NIR spectra measured on the tangential surface had the poorest performance (R²cv = 0.53 and RMSE = 46.8 kg/m³). The difference in performance between models based on original (untreated) and mathematically-treated spectra was minimal.

Conclusions: Multivariate models fitted to NIR spectra were found to be efficient for predicting the basic density of Eucalyptus wood, especially when based on spectra measured on the transversal surface. For this data set, models based on the original spectra and mathematically treated spectra had similar performance. The reported findings show that mathematical transformations are not always able to extract more information from the spectra in the NIR.

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