ROXAS – an efficient and accurate tool to detect vessels in diffuse-porous species

L. Wegner, G. von Arx, U.G.W. Sass, B. Eilmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Wood-anatomical parameters form a valuable archive to study past limitations on tree growth and act as a link between dendrochronology and ecophysiology. Yet, analysing these parameters is a time-consuming procedure and only few long chronologies exist. To increase measurement efficiency of wood-anatomical parameters, novel tools like the automated image-analysis system ROXAS were developed. So far, ROXAS has only been applied to measure large earlywood vessels in ring-porous species. In this study, we evaluate if ROXAS is also suitable for efficient and accurate detection and measurement of vessels in diffuse-porous European beech. To do so, we compared the outcome of ROXAS with that of the established measurement programme Image-Pro Plus in terms of efficiency and accuracy. The two methods differed substantially in efficiency with automatic measurements using ROXAS being 19 times faster than with Image-Pro Plus. Although the procedures led to similar patterns in annual variation of mean vessel area and vessel density, the absolute values differed. Image-Pro Plus measured systematically lower mean vessel areas and higher vessel densities than ROXAS. This was attributed to the species-specific technical settings in ROXAS, leading to more realistic results than those obtained using the default settings in Image-Pro Plus. A shortcoming of ROXAS was, however, that small vessels (
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)425-432
JournalIawa Journal
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • rings
  • oak


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