iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry


Hygroscopicity of the bark of selected forest tree species

Anna Ilek   , Jaroslaw Kucza, Karolina Morkisz

iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry, Volume 10, Issue 1, Pages 220-226 (2016)
doi: https://doi.org/10.3832/ifor1979-009
Published: Nov 06, 2016 - Copyright © 2016 SISEF

Research Articles

As the outer layer of trees and shrubs, bark is exposed to the direct action of atmospheric conditions and reacts to changes in relative air humidity. This study focuses on the actual hygroscopicity of the bark, regarded as a component of the total bark retention capability. The main research aims were to: (1) determine the physical properties (specific density, bulk density, total porosity), actual hygroscopicity and maximum water storage capacity of the stem bark at breast height (1.3 m) of eight forest tree species; (2) assess the relationship between bark actual hygroscopicity and its physical properties; (3) determine the share of the actual hygroscopicity of bark in its maximum water storage capacity. Significant differences were observed among the different species considered as a consequence of the variation in physical properties of their bark. Actual hygroscopicity of bark (expressed in balance units), i.e., the maximum water amount that can be absorbed from saturated air by the outer bark layer, showed a significant relationship with bark physical properties. Depending on tree species, actual hygroscopicity may constitute from 10 to 30% of the maximum water storage capacity of bark.


Forest Hydrology, Forest Tree Bark, Bark Actual Hygroscopicity, Bark Water Storage Capacity

Authors’ address

Anna Ilek
Jaroslaw Kucza
Karolina Morkisz
Department of Forest Engineering, Institute of Forest Ecosystem Protection, Faculty of Forestry, University of Agriculture in Krakow, Al. 29 Listopada 46, 31425 Krakow (Poland)

Corresponding author

Anna Ilek


Ilek A, Kucza J, Morkisz K (2016). Hygroscopicity of the bark of selected forest tree species. iForest 10: 220-226. - doi: 10.3832/ifor1979-009

Academic Editor

Giacomo Goli

Paper history

Received: Jan 12, 2016
Accepted: Jul 07, 2016

First online: Nov 06, 2016
Publication Date: Feb 28, 2017
Publication Time: 4.07 months

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