Wood Anatomical Structure of Morus alba L. and Morus nigra L., Native to Iran
Keywords:Morus alba, Morus nigra, wood anatomy, musical instruments, bowl shaped instruments
Iran is a wast country with many different tree species. Among those there are two species of Morus genus including alba and nigra. Since long time ago, white mulberry’s wood (Morus alba) has been used for making musical instruments especially bowl shaped instruments in Iran. In contrast, black mulberry’s wood (Morus nigra) has never been used for these types of applications. In order to investigate the possible replacement choices, this study has been carried out to investigate the anatomical differences and similarities between these two species. Wood samples of the two species have been collected from same site and microsections for light microscopic studies and maceration samples have been prepared. The anatomical characteristics were studied according to the IAWA List of Hardwoods. The most important similarities between them are: vessel solitary in short radial multiples or irregular clusters, fiber nonseptate, rays uniseriate and multiseriate type, paratracheal parenchyma, varying from vasicentric to aliform confluent, apotracheal as marginal bands, Rhombic crystals present in rays and sometimes in parenchyma. The main differences are: semi-ring porous distribution of vessels in M. alba, fewer number of vessels and presence of aliform parenchyma in M. nigra. Taking these results into consideration, the most important features of both species are similar and it could be recommended to use the nigra species as well as the alba for making musical instruments.
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