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This paper describes the microscopic structure and morphology of stern and buttresses of swamp-grown Caryocar nuciferum L. and discusses the function of buttresses. Buttresses are mainly found at the opposite side of the leaning direction of a tree and thus could function as tension members. In contrast to the stern wood, which exhibits a moderate amount of tension wood fibres with a gelatinous layer, the wood of the buttresses on the tension side and the compression side of the leaning tree is characterised by thick-walled tension wood fibres. In addition, the number of vessels in the buttresses is substantially higher than that in the stern wood. The preferential direction of the buttresses and the anatomical differences in the various parts of the tree are discussed.

In: IAWA Journal