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Trees

, Volume 24, Issue 5, pp 941–951 | Cite as

Wound reaction after bark harvesting: microscopic and macroscopic phenomena in ten medicinal tree species (Benin)

  • Claire DelvauxEmail author
  • Brice Sinsin
  • Patrick Van Damme
  • Hans Beeckman
Original Paper

Abstract

In Africa, little is known about how the vascular anatomy of medicinal tree species is influenced by bark harvesting, and the ability of species to react against debarking needs to be better understood. This study aims to evaluate the temporal and spatial impact of bark harvesting on wood anatomy and to determine the extent to which a tree’s ability to close the wound after bark harvesting is affected by anatomical changes in the wood. We harvested bark from ten medicinal tree species located in an Isoberlinia doka woodland in Central Benin. Two years after debarking, the wound closure was measured and one tree per species was cut at the wound level to collect a stem disc. On the cross section of each disc, vessel features (area, density and specific conductive area) were measured in the radial direction (before and after wounding) and on three locations around the disc surface. We found that during early wound healing, all species produced vessels with a smaller area than in unaffected wood and this significantly decreased the specific conductive area in eight of the investigated species. However, after 2 years, only six trees had restored their specific conductive area. In addition, a significant positive correlation (r = 0.64, P < 0.005) confirmed the relationship between the specific conductive area and tissue production to close the wound and delineated the study group into two groups of trees. Therefore, we concluded that vessels appeared to be very good anatomical indicators of the tree’s reactions to debarking.

Keywords

Bark harvesting Specific conductive area Re-growth dynamics Vessel features Wood anatomy 

Notes

Acknowledgments

This research was supported by the Flemish Interuniversity Council (VLIR) project ZEIN 2003PR278. We are grateful to Bachirou Ignintonin and Roger Gantoli for their assistance with data collection in the field. We thank Dr. François Darchambeau for his precious and efficient statistical support.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Claire Delvaux
    • 1
    Email author
  • Brice Sinsin
    • 2
  • Patrick Van Damme
    • 1
  • Hans Beeckman
    • 3
  1. 1.Laboratory of Tropical and Subtropical Agronomy and Ethnobotany, Department of Plant ProductionGhent UniversityGhentBelgium
  2. 2.Laboratoire d’Ecologie Appliquée, Faculté des Sciences AgronomiquesUniversité d’Abomey-CalaviCotonouBenin
  3. 3.Laboratory for Wood Biology and XylariumRoyal Museum for Central AfricaTervurenBelgium

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