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An overview of the hydraulic systems in early land plants

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Chapter Summary

This chapter provides an overview of the early fossil record focusing on tracheid morphology in the earliest primary and secondary xylem and on cambial development. The fossil record shows that lignification of the cell wall in the earliest vascular plants was most well developed on the inner lumen-facing surface, but the thickness of this layer varied among cell types. Synchotron microtomography provides a new approach to investigating the structure and the hydraulic properties of early fossil wood. Imaging is based on the attenuation of X-rays as they pass through the object, which is related to its density and chemical composition. Results show that the method works for early wood preserved in pyrite; it enables the dynamic 3D imaging of the wood, and it facilitates the analysis of its hydraulic and biomechanical properties in a non-invasive and non-destructive way.

Keywords: fossil; hydraulic properties; synchotron microtomography; wood; xylem

10.1163/9789004265608_003
/content/books/b9789004265608s003
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