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1 December 2009 Increased Water Storage Capacity in Cactus Wood: A Study in the Tribe Cereeae (Cactoideae, Cactaceae)
Patricia Soffiatti, Veronica Angyalossy
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Secondary xylem of fibrous cactus wood is characterized by short narrow vessel elements with both simple perforation plates and large intervessel pits, libriform septate fibers, and large rays. These are present in basal cactus taxa, as well as in many other groups of the family. In Cactoideae, the most diversified and most derived subfamily, there are remarkable variations found in the secondary xylem, with the more highly derived taxa containing the greatest water storage capacity. Unlignified parenchyma is one specialization found in the fibrous wood of cacti. We observed this tissue in the secondary xylem at the base of the stems of several Brazilian endemic species of Arrojadoa, Melocactus, and Stephanocereus, all members of the tribe Cereeae. In Arrojadoa and Melocactus the unlignified parenchyma occurs in lines and bands amongst the axial and radial xylem elements, while in Stephanocereus it is mainly restricted to the rays and does not form bands. We address the adaptive importance of the unlignified parenchyma in the fibrous wood in tribe Cereeae and the family Cactaceae as a whole.

Patricia Soffiatti and Veronica Angyalossy "Increased Water Storage Capacity in Cactus Wood: A Study in the Tribe Cereeae (Cactoideae, Cactaceae)," Haseltonia 2009(15), 27-32, (1 December 2009).
Published: 1 December 2009
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