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Eco-Anatomical Wood Features of Species from a Very Dry Tropical Forest

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In 19 species of a very dry forest in Venezuela vessel diameter, vessel frequency, vessel grouping, vessel element length, and intervessel pit size, were studied and compared with data from other habitats. A predominance of characters that presumably contribute to hydraulic safety was observed: numerous grouped vessels of small diameter, short vessel elements, and minute intervessel pits. In some species, a xeromorphic wood anatomy coexists together with adaptations such as deciduousness, xeromorphic foliage, deep or superficially-extended roots, and succulence. In other species studied, the presence of xerophytic adaptations such as assimilating stems, succulence, and deep roots, seem to mitigate the xeromorphic wood appearance and, to some extent, lend it a mesomorphic character.


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