The mechanical properties of Abies pinsapo Boiss., a relict species from the south of Spain, have been studied very little due to its scarcity and the high level of protection of this species. Forest fire prevention measures involving felling of mature trees have enabled the species to be characterized for the first time. A comparison of its three regions of provenance, (1) Sierra de Grazalema, (2) Sierra Bermeja, (3) Sierra de las Nieves, was included in this evaluation. Tests were conducted using small dimension defect-free test pieces in accordance with the corresponding Spanish mechanical property test standard. In order to relate the findings to the wood anatomy, measurements were taken of tracheid length and diameter, tracheid wall thickness, and growth rate.

The mean values per region of provenance (1, 2, 3) were Charpy impact strength, 16.9, 12.4, 14.3 (J); modulus of rupture (MOR), 74.9, 68.8, 71.1 (N/mm2); tensile strength perpendicular to the grain (tangential), 1.9, 2.0, 1.8 (N/mm2); tensile strength perpendicular to the grain (radial), 2.0, 2.0, 1.9 (N/mm2); splitting strength, 2.4, 2.3, 2.3 (N/mm); and compressive strength parallel to the grain, 40.0, 39.9, 39.9 (N/mm2). The findings showed that the values of most of the properties studied in the three regions of provenance did not present statistically significant differences.

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Author notes

The authors are, respectively, Senior Univ. Lecturer, Univ. Lecturer (Doctor), Associate Lecturer, and Student (completing final degree project), Univ. Politécnica de Madrid, Escuela Técnica Superior de Ingenieros de Montes, Dept. Ingeniería Forestal, Cátedra de Tecnología de la Madera, Ciudad Universitaria, 28040 Madrid, Spain (,,, This paper was received for publication in May 2009. Article no. 10628.