Bosque (Valdivia)  vol.38 no.1; Abstract: S0717-92002017000100018
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Bosque (Valdivia)
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Abstract

LONGUI, Eduardo Luiz, RAJPUT, Kishore S, GALVAO DE MELO, Antônio Carlos et al. Root to branch wood anatomical variation and its influence on hydraulic conductivity in five Brazilian Cerrado species. Bosque (Valdivia), 2017, vol.38, no.1, p.183-193. ISSN 0717-9200.

The wood anatomy of the root, stem (base, middle, top) and branch of Anadenanthera peregrina, Copaifera langsdorffii, Handroanthus ochraceus, Ocotea corymbosa and Xylopia aromatica growing naturally in the Brazilian Cerrado is investigated. The important findings are correlated with hydraulic architecture and mechanical requirements. The presence of hydraulic bottlenecks (also referred to as hydraulic constrictions) is evident in the transition from root to stem, but no such transition is observed from stem to branch in other four species except for Xylopia aromatica. Compared with solitary vessels, proportion of multiple vessels is higher in the roots of Anadenanthera peregrina and Copaifera langsdorffii, as well as in the roots and stem-base of Xylopia aromatica indicating a tendency toward higher safety of roots from embolism as compared to the stem. Dimensions of rays, fibers and dry biomass percentage did not clearly show variations in these cells to influence the mechanical strength. Besides reducing hydraulic conductivity, decrease in vessel diameter from the root to the stem base may also impact mechanical strength by reducing empty spaces (vessel lumen). We concluded that the wood of the stem base of the species investigated shows mechanism to safeguard from air embolism by producing narrower vessels, which can protect the main stem from constant loss of conductivity.

Keywords: ecological anatomy; hydraulic conductivity; tropical woods; wood axial variation.

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