Aniszewska, M., Tulska, E., Gendek, A. and Siwek, J. 2021. Morphological variability of Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii (Mirb.) Franco) cones in the context of seed extraction. Baltic Forestry 27(2): 216–224.

   In the paper generating curves given by fourth-degree polynomials were used to model the shape of Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii (Mirb.) Franco) cones from the Polish Forest Districts of Kołaczyce (one batch) and Opole (two batches), and to calculate the surface area and volume of individual cones. However, it was not possible to construct generalized equations for the surface area and volume of Douglas fir cones due to the high variability of empirical coefficients. The surface area and volume of the cones were also calculated from their length and diameter based on formulas for a cylinder and a barrel corrected by constants k1 and k2. The mean surface area of closed Douglas fir cones determined for the first, second, and third batch using the generating function was 4,348.4 mm2, 3,857.0 mm2 , and 2,844.7 mm2, and the volume was 27,212.4 mm3 , 21,012.9 mm3 , and 12,844.4 mm3, respectively. The corresponding values calculated from the geometric formulas for solids were 4,332.0 mm2, 3,838.0 mm2, and 2,862.9 mm2 for the surface area and 27,366.0 mm3 , 20,648.9 mm3, and 13,375.3 mm3 for the volume. The evaporation area of open cones was found to be five times greater than that of closed cones, with the difference being statistically significant. The outer and inner surfaces of scales taken from the middle segment of Douglas fir cones were photographed using a Quanta 200 scanning microscope (FEIC). The characteristic elements of scale morphology were evaluated by means of MultiScan Base software package. The outer and inner surfaces of Douglas fir scales were found to differ in some important ways, similarly as it has been reported in the literature for the Scots pine, silver fir, European larch, and black alder. The outer surface of scales is formed by thick-walled cells with marked protrusions, while the inner surface reveals cells with thin, frayed walls in the region adjacent to the seeds and wings. Knowledge of the geometry of Douglas fir cones and the morphology of their scales may be helpful in optimizing seed extraction parameters for those cones.

Keywords: seed extraction, model, shape curve, surface area, volume, scanning electron microscope