Article: article from journal or magazin.
A study of the cambial zone and conductive phloem of common beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) using an image analysis method. I. Influence of tree age on the structure
Quantification is a major problem when using histology to study the influence of ecological factors on tree structure. This paper presents a method to prepare and to analyse transverse sections of cambial zone and of conductive phloem in bark samples. The following paper (II) presents the automated measurement procedure. Part I here describes and discusses the preparation method, and the influence of tree age on the observed structure. Highly contrasted images of samples extracted at breast height during dormancy were analysed with an automatic image analyser. Between three young (38 years) and three old (147 years) trees, age-related differences were identified by size and shape parameters, at both cell and tissue levels. In the cambial zone, older trees had larger and more rectangular fusiform initials. In the phloem, sieve tubes were also larger, but their shape did not change and the area for sap conduction was similar in both categories. Nevertheless, alterations were limited, and demanded statistical analysis to be identified and ascertained. The physiological implications of the structural changes are discussed.
Image analysis, Bark structure, Senescence, Fagus sylvatica
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