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Wood Anatomy of Three Lesser Known Species from Mozambique

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Three lesser known wood species from Mozambique were studied to generate information for identification purposes and facilitate the introduction of these species into the wood working industry by assigning or widening the potential uses of these species. Selected anatomical features were used to predict some important wood properties, subsequently confirmed by measurements of both density and impregnability. Comparative wood anatomy showed that all three wood species have anatomical features typical for their genus after comparisons with their closest relatives. Both ntholo (Pseudolachnostylis maprounaefolia Pax) and muanga (Pericopsis angolensis Meeuwen) are diffuse-porous (with 14–24 and 16–20 vessels/mm2 respectively), have extractives in the heartwood vessels and thick-walled fibres, features consistent with good natural durability and strength respectively. Metil (Sterculia appendiculata K. Schum.) is also diffuse-porous with very wide vessels at much lower frequency (<5/mm2), it lacks extractives in the heartwood vessels, and thin-walled axial and ray parenchyma constitutes the bulk of the ground tissue. This set of characteristics makes the wood light and satisfactory for construction purposes but highly vulnerable to biodegradation.


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