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Wood Anatomy of Lecythidaceae Species called “Tauari”

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Woods from an important group of Lecythidaceae species called “tauari” can hardly be identified in the field by their gross and general features. In this study we show that, when properly delimited to the genera Allantoma, Cariniana and Couratari, wood anatomical characteristics can be used to identify the species known as “tauari”, even though it is not possible to separate all species. In addition to anatomical characters, wood colour is an important character to help distinguish species of Cariniana and Allantoma from species of Couratari. Detailed wood anatomical descriptions from “tauari” woods Allantoma, Cariniana and Couratari are given and a table with diagnostic differences is presented. Common characters of this group are axial parenchyma in narrow continuous bands, prismatic crystals in chambered axial parenchyma cells and silica bodies in ray cells. Microscopic features that help in species identification are: fibre pitting (minutely or distinctly bordered), traumatic intercellular canals, average vessel diameter, vessel element length, axial parenchyma strand length, and ray height and width.


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