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Wood Structure and to pochemistry of Juniperus Excelsa

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Wood structure and topochemical distribution of lignin and phenolic extractives in Juniperus excelsa Bieb. were investigated using a mature specimen, aproximately 80 years of age, from the Rhodope mountains, Greece. The wood of J. excelsa was found to possess the same qualitative anatomical features as those reported for other Juniperus species of the Western Hemisphere. Quantitative anatomical characteristics recorded for mature wood (heartwood and sapwood) included earlywood and latewood tracheid length, double wall thickness of earlywood and latewood tracheids, lumen diameter of earlywood tracheids and ray height. Scanning UV microspectrophotometry revealed a pronounced lignification of J. excelsa tracheids with detected absorbance values of the secondary cell wall layers being much higher in comparison to all other softwoods studied using this technique. The cell corners and compound middle lamellae were characterised by relative high UV absorbance values as compared to the S2 layers. The phenolic compounds deposited in the axial and ray parenchyma cells possessed higher absorbance values than cell wall associated lignins and had a different spectral behaviour due to the presence of chromophoric groups. According to the obtained UV absorbance spectra, more condensed phenolic compounds were deposited in the heartwood than in the sapwood.


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