Assessment of vessel and fiber characteristics of Blighia sapida Konig. and Lecaniodiscus cupanoides Planch ex Benth. growing in rainforest and derived savanna areas of Edo state, Nigeria
Okoegwale, E. E.
Idialu J. E., O. E. Ehilen
Ogie-Odia, E. A.
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This study was carried out to assess the vessel and fiber dimensions and characteristics of Blighia sapida Konig. and Lecaniodiscus cupanoides Planch ex Benth. growing in the rainforest and derived savanna regions of Edo state, Nigeria. In both taxa, rainforest species possessed wider and longer vessels than the derived savanna species. Also, significant variations were recorded in taxa vessel wall thickness between the two ecozones. The derived savanna plants had thicker vessel wall to counterbalance the water stress prevalent in that environment. In both species, vessel members lacked tails. Also, taxa fibers were of short and medium lengths. Significant variations between fiber lengths of species occurring in both habitats were not encountered. Fiber elements of taxa were of moderately thick wall while fiber/vessel length ratio was greater than 1 in both taxa. Although runkel ratios of both species studied were less than 1, they may however not be suitable for high grade pulp because of their low fiber length values. The study has revealed that the woods are suitable for various end uses because of the presence and distribution of vessels and fiber with thick walls.