You might have seen our methods section. There we mention we use multiple methods for timber tracing – we use genetics, stable isotopes and multielement analysis to verify timber trade claims. So what can you do with data like that? How do you turn those numbers into something meaningful for tracing purposes? Are there any best practices available?
Within the Global Timber Tracking Network we have been working hard on exactly those questions, resulting in a streamlined guide for data analysis. With some great international collaboration, involving authors from 30 different institutes, you can check out the result here! It gives a great overview of the current analysis methods for tracing.
The guide provides an overview of the current methods used to analyse data derived from different wood identification methods, while presenting their respective strengths and limitations. It gives advice on data analysis, from the development of reference data, through to the verification of identity and provenance of unknown samples against the reference database. Lastly it includes an expert view on combining methods for wood identification and discusses how timber identification possibilities could expand in the future.
If you want to know more about timber tracing, or the data analysis guide specifically, make sure to get in touch!