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Wood Anatomy of nine Japanese Hardwood species forming reaction wood without gelatinous fibers

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The anatomy of reaction wood was studied in nine naturally growing Japanese hardwood species, all showing eccentric growth on the upper side of their leaning branches. The number of vessels decreased in the xylem of the upper side accompanying the formation of reaction wood. A typical G-layer was not detected in the reaction wood fibers, but an S3 layer was present in all nine species. The cellulose microfibril arrangement with an S helix was similar in the S3 layers of both reaction and opposite wood fibers. A decrease of lignin content occurred in the reaction wood fibers in all nine species. The coniferyl and sinapyl aldehyde units in the lignins were strongly reduced in the S2 layer of reaction wood fibers of four species, i.e., Euscaphis japonica, Rhododendron wadanum, Clerodendron trichotomum, and Daphne odora, and much less so in five other species, i.e., Viburnum dilatatum, Enkianthus subsessilis, Euonymus alatus, Ilex macropoda, and Ilex crenata. The syringyl content was lower in the S2 layer of reaction wood fibers than that in opposite wood of all nine species. On the other hand, chemical analysis of lignin using the acetyl bromide method showed that, among the nine species, lignin content was reduced most strongly in Clerodendron trichotomum. Tension wood-like characteristics are present on the upper side of leaning branches in all nine species, except that G-fibers are absent.


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