ABSTRACT

High quality specimen digitization is becoming standard across the sciences, is relevant for curation of natural history collections, and must become a priority for dendrochronology. This paper overviews the enduring role of imaging in dendrochronology, summarizes the potential relevance of gigapixel macro photography of polished specimens, offers a long-term review of a commercial imaging system, and reports our progress imaging entire collections of specimens at ultra-high resolution. Our gigapixel images of polished specimens have proven effective for digital analyses, archiving, and education, and we believe macro photography may prove a lower cost and more broadly accessible digitization alternative to microtomy and X-rays. We advocate for gigapixel macro photography as one accessible and adaptable paradigm to elevate reflected light imaging standards in dendrochronology.

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