How Anatomical and Morphological Characteristics Affect the Flexural Properties of two Angiosperm Species at the Sapling Stage

Seray Ozden Keles

Abstract


The sapling stage is an important phase due to maintaining plant growth, stability, and survival over the life cycle of trees. However, there are limited investigations in the literature related to both growth and stability of different tree species. This study thus investigated how different tree species at the sapling stage showed different anatomical, morphological, and flexural traits despite being of similar age and growing under the same environmental conditions. The variation of sapling properties was determined in two deciduous tree species: common oak (Quercus robur L.) and Oriental beech (Fagus orientalis Lipsky). The results of anatomical and morphological measurements showed that the highest average values of ray length, ray width, pith radius, pith%, bark%, and node numbers were obtained in oak saplings, whereas average ring width, number of rays, and wood% were found to be higher in beech saplings. Oak also exhibited better functional stability in its saplings. The flexural properties were almost 60% greater in oak stems than beech stems. The variations in flexural properties were explained by the morphological and anatomical traits since stability was positively correlated with pith radius, pith%, and bark% and negatively correlated with the number of rays and wood%.

Keywords


Morphology; Sapling; Survival; Tree stability; Plant growth

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