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Vertical and Radial Variation of Nuclear Elongation Index of Living Sapwood Ray Parenchyma Cells in a Plantation Tree of Cryptomeria Japonica

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Vertical and radial variations of nuclear elongation index (NEI) of living sapwood ray parenchyrna cells were studied in a 45-year-old plantation tree of Cryptomeria japonica D. Don collected in Taiwan on February 27, 1992. Nine wood strips oriented in an E-W direction of the tree were collected starting at 0.3 m above ground level, and progressing upwards by 2.5 m intervals to the tree crown. Radial sections, 20 µm thick, were cut from the cambium toward the inner sapwood of these nine wood strips. The nuclear elongation index (NEI) was used to express the metabolic activity of the ray cells. It was found that metabolic activity of sapwood ray parenchyma was thc highest at the outer sapwood and declined gradually towards the inner sapwood. The lowest average NEI was found at the lowest stern level. The average NEI of various stern height levels increased with increasing stern height level. The average NEI of three growth rings at the outer sapwood near the cambium reached a maximum at the bottom of the live crown.


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