Our purpose was to develop a FTIR spectroscopic method to be used to determine the lignin content in a large number of samples and to apply this method studying variation in sapwood and heartwood lignin content between three fast-growing cutting clones grown in three sites. Models were estimated with 18 samples and tested with 6 samples for which the Klason lignin + acid soluble lignin content had been determined. Altogether 272 candidate models were built with all-subset regressions from the principal components estimated from differently treated transmission spectra of the samples; the spectra were recorded on KBr pellets of sieved and unsieved unextracted wood powder and subjected to four different preprocessings and two different wavenumber selection schemes. The final model showed an adequate fit in the estimation data (R2 = 0.74) as well as a good prediction performance in the test data (R2P = 0.90). This model was based on the wavenumber range of 1850–500 cm–1 of the line-subtraction-normalised spectra recorded from sieved samples. The model was used to predict lignin content in 64 samples of the same material. One of the clones had a slightly lower sapwood lignin content than the two other clones. The fertile growing site with fast growing trees showed slightly higher sapwood lignin content compared with the other two sites. The model was also used to predict the lignin content in the earlywood of 45 individual annual rings. Variation between individual stems and between annual rings was found to be large. No correlation was found between the lignin content and density of earlywood.
- Norway spruce
- principal component regression