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Species Verification of Dalbergia nigra and Dalbergia spruceana. Samples in the Wood Collection at the Forest Products Laboratory

To evade endangered timber species laws, unscrupulous importers sometimes attempt to pass protected Dalbergia nigra as look-alike, but unprotected, Dalbergia spruceana. Wood density and fluorescence properties are sometimes used to identify the species. Although these properties are useful and do not require special equipment, they may be less reliable than direct analysis in real time-time of flight mass spectrometry (DART–TOFMS). DART-TOFMS was used to check identities of the D. nigra and D. spruceana samples contained in the wood collection of the Forest Products Laboratory (Madison, Wisconsin). Based on DART-TOFMS, voucher-backed heartwood samples of the two species are all correctly named, but some of the unvouchered samples are not.

  • Michael C. Wiemann
    Edgard O. Espinoza
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Forest Products
  • 2017