Journal Article

Biomechanical and hydraulic determinants of tree structure in Scots pine: anatomical characteristics

Maurizio Mencuccini, John Grace and Marco Fioravanti

in Tree Physiology

Volume 17, issue 2, pages 105-113
Published in print February 1997 | ISSN: 0829-318X
Published online February 1997 | e-ISSN: 1758-4469 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/treephys/17.2.105
Biomechanical and hydraulic determinants of tree structure in Scots pine: anatomical characteristics

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The development of anatomical, hydraulic and biomechanical properties in Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) stems aged 7 to 59 years was followed. The hydraulic diameter and length of tracheids increased with age to a maximum at 15 and 35 years, respectively. Number of tracheids per unit of sapwood area decreased with age to a minimum of 500–600 tracheids mm−2. Variations in specific hydraulic conductivity and Young's modulus of stems were associated with variation in anatomical properties.

Over the time sequence considered, hydraulic and mechanical properties were positively related to each other and followed a similar developmental pattern, with no suggestion of a trade-off between the two. For most of the tree's life-cycle, heartwood made only a small contribution to whole-section mechanical stiffness because of its location close to the flexural neutral axis, and because of the presence of juvenile wood.

Keywords: heartwood; Pinus sylvestris; sapwood; xylem anatomy; xylem conductivity; Young's modulus

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Plant Sciences and Forestry

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