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Variability in Apical Elongation of Wood Fibres in Lonchocarpus Sericeus

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Morphological variability in wood fibres of Lonchocarpus sericeus (Poir.) Kunth ex DC. (Leguminosae), a tropical hardwood tree with doublestoreyed cambium, was examined in thin tangential and transverse sections as well as in macerations of wood tissue. Occurrence of characteristic protrusions (lateral expansions) was detected on the extended part of the main fibre body. Distance between the adjacent protrusions corresponded to the height of a storey (horizontal tier) of the cambial initials. Rays were shorter in height than the neighbouring fusiform initials and therefore unable to reach the boundary of the storey. This situation facilitated the lateral expansion of the adjoining fibres during their apical elongation by intrusive growth. The presence of the characteristic protrusions on the fibre body thus indicated that the given fibre was associated with a double-storeyed cambium having rays shorter than the length of fusiform initials. The ultimate shape of fibres was thus correlated to the height of storeys and the height and width of rays.


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