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Microfibril Angle Distribution of Poplar Tension Wood

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Tension wood of poplar (Populus nigra) branches was studied by lightand electron microscopy. The characteristic features of tension wood such as wider growth rings, reduced vessel density and higher gross density were confirmed by our results. Based on a novel combination of transmission electron microscopy (TEM) imaging and image analysis, involving Fourier transformation, the orientation of cellulose microfibrils in the S2- and G-layer was determined. Within the G-layer microfibril angle (MFA) was parallel to the growth axis (0°). However, in the S2 it was 13° in tension wood fibres and 4° in normal wood fibres. With the exception of the relatively low fibril angle in the S2 of tension wood fibres (13°) the results are in good agreement with those of the literature.


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