DR JEREMY BURGESS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR JEREMY BURGESS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Scanning electron micrograph of a vertical section through the wood (secondary xylem) of the Scots pine, Pinus sylvestris, showing the large- celled early (spring) growth. The vertical tube-like structures are tracheids. In softwoods like pine, these carry out both sap-conducting and mechanical functions; the large early-wood tracheids seen here are primarily concerned with conduction, whereas the much smaller late ones act primarily as structural elements. The thickened walls of the tracheids are marked by lines of tiny holes, known as pits. These allow the exchange of substances with adjacent cells. Magnification: x300 at 8x10 inch size.
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