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Influence of Cambial Age and Axial Height on the Spatial Patterns of Xylem Traits in Catalpa bungei, a Ring-Porous Tree Species Native to China

1
Department of Wood Anatomy and Utilization, Research Institute of Wood Industry, Chinese Academy of Forestry, Beijing 100091, China
2
Wood Collections (WOODPEDIA), Chinese Academy of Forestry, Beijing 100091, China
3
College of Forestry, Beijing Forestry University, Beijing 100083, China
4
Ecophysiology and Vegetation Ecology, Julius-von-Sachs-Institute of Biological Sciences, University of Würzburg, Julius-von-Sachs-Platz 3, 97082 Würzburg, Germany
5
Beijing Center for Physical and Chemical Analysis, Beijing 100089, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Forests 2019, 10(8), 662; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10080662
Received: 5 July 2019 / Revised: 1 August 2019 / Accepted: 2 August 2019 / Published: 6 August 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Ecophysiology and Biology)
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Abstract

Studying how cambial age and axial height affects wood anatomical traits may improve our understanding of xylem hydraulics, heartwood formation and axial growth. Radial strips were collected from six different heights (0–11.3 m) along the main trunk of three Manchurian catalpa (Catalpa bungei) trees, yielding 88 samples. In total, thirteen wood anatomical vessel and fiber traits were observed usinglight microscopy (LM) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and linear models were used to analyse the combined effect of axial height, cambial age and their interaction. Vessel diameter differed by about one order of magnitude between early- and latewood, and increased significantly with both cambial age and axial height in latewood, while it was positively affected by cambial age and independent of height in earlywood. Vertical position further had a positive effect on earlywood vessel density, and negative effects on fibre wall thickness, wall thickness to diameter ratio and length. Cambial age had positive effects on the pit membrane diameter and vessel element length, while the annual diameter growth decreased with both cambial age and axial position. In contrast, early- and latewood fiber diameter were unaffected by both cambial age and axial height. We further observed an increasing amount of tyloses from sapwood to heartwood, accompanied by an increase of warty layers and amorphous deposits on cell walls, bordered pit membranes and pit apertures. This study highlights the significant effects of cambial age and vertical position on xylem anatomical traits, and confirms earlier work that cautions to take into account xylem spatial position when interpreting wood anatomical structures, and thus, xylem hydraulic functioning. View Full-Text
Keywords: wood anatomy; vertical and radial variation; earlywood; latewood; growth ring width; tyloses; pit membrane diameter; vessel lumen diameter; fibre length wood anatomy; vertical and radial variation; earlywood; latewood; growth ring width; tyloses; pit membrane diameter; vessel lumen diameter; fibre length
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Li, S.; Li, X.; Link, R.; Li, R.; Deng, L.; Schuldt, B.; Jiang, X.; Zhao, R.; Zheng, J.; Li, S.; Yin, Y. Influence of Cambial Age and Axial Height on the Spatial Patterns of Xylem Traits in Catalpa bungei, a Ring-Porous Tree Species Native to China. Forests 2019, 10, 662.

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