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In some genera, vessels that form early in the growing season are far larger than those formed late in the season and such wood is referred to as ring-porous wood, and in these cases, annual rings are distinguishable (Figure 2-10). In other genera, the distribution of large and small vessels is uniform and has no relation to the growing season. Such wood is referred to as diffuseporous (Figure 2-11). Trees can also be distinguished by w h e t h e r they are deciduous or evergreen. Deciduous trees drop their leaves before the cold winter or dry season to avoid consuming stored resources and water.

Often, these seeds will be gradually buried under organic m a t t e r or m i n e r a l soil. This enables the seed to w i t h s t a n d extreme conditions such as drought for several years, decades, or even longer. As buried seeds are usually small and not palatable to animals they can accumulate over a long period of time, although some may die from various causes. When the light conditions are improved by a disturbance such as fire or logging and land preparation, they soon germinate. , 1998).

Seeds tend to be produced e a r l i e r and in g r e a t e r abundance if the trees are growing in a more favourable environment (Matthews, 1963; Wilson, 1983; Kamitani, 1986b). Also, trees regenerated by sprouting produce seeds faster than those grown from seed (Kamitani, 1986b). The difference between species in age of seed production and life span, and the f r e q u e n c y of d i s t u r b a n c e are i m p o r t a n t conditions determining species composition in a stand. Differences in sprouting ability also affect stand composition.

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