Use of Wood Characters in the Identification of Selected Timber Species in Nigeria.
AbstractTen popular timber species belonging to seven families in Nigeria were identified in the Herbarium. Wood samples of each species were studied anatomically in search of stable taxonomic micromorphological attributes. Characters of the treachery elements, in particular, the vessel; fibre and ray structure; intercellular canal and phloem parenchyma are diagnostic among the species. The invariable presence of non-septate fibres in Afzelia africana (Sm.) and Milicia excelsa (Welsh. and C. C. Berg.) delimits them from other woods which all posses septate fibres. Occurrence of tyloses in the metaxylem of Cordia millenii (Bak.), Antiaris toxicaria(Lesch.), Tectona grandis (L. F.), Terminalia ivorensis (A. Chev.) and Triplochiton scleroxylon (K. Schum.) separates them from Anogeissus leiocarpus (Guill. and Perr.), Khaya ivorensis (A. Chev.) and Mansonia altissima (A. Chev.). A detailed study of the wood structure of the commercial Nigerian timber species may provide an invaluable tool for determination, identification of fragments and thereby assisting in promoting quality assurance as well as detecting adulteration in wood trade and detecting camouflage and substitution of CITES-listed trees.
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