Wood anatomy of seed and basal bud originated downy birches (Betula pubescens Ehrh.) grown at four different sites.
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CitationLuostarinen Katri. Hakkarainen Katja. Kaksonen Henri. (2017). Wood anatomy of seed and basal bud originated downy birches (Betula pubescens Ehrh.) grown at four different sites.. SILVA FENNICA, 51 (1) , 1694. 10.14214/sf.1694.
In trees, xylem must fulfil three important tasks: conducting water to leaves, storing nutrients and water, and supporting the trunk. The origin of the trunk, i.e., seed or basal bud that forms sprouts, and the growth site may affect xylem anatomy, differences of which can affect successful growth of trees. Both seedlings and sprouts of downy birch (Betula pubescens Ehrh.) from four different growth sites with two different soil media, peat and mineral soil, were studied. The diameter of fibres and vessels and the thickness of the double fibre wall were measured, and the number of vessels, rays and axial parenchyma cells was counted. The fibre wall:lumen ratio, vessel percentage area and vessel size:number ratio were calculated. Xylem from sprouts showed only occasionally more mature characteristics than that of seedlings. The number of rays was similar at all four sites, but differences were observed in all other studied characteristics between sites, particularly if soil type was different. The vessel size and number correlated with the number of axial parenchyma cells in juvenile wood, which emphasises the importance of their connections with storage cells particularly at this stage of growth. Good water conductivity was connected with weaker wood, particularly in maturing wood.