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  • Author: Yu Ma x
  • Molecular Biology x
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Macro-microscopic research in reideer (Rangifer tarandus) hoof suitable for efficient locomotion on complex grounds


Introduction: Reindeer are adapted to long distance migration. This species can cope with variations in substrate, especially in ice and snow environment. However, few detailed studies about reindeer hoof are available. Thus this article describes the results of studies on macro- and micro-structures of reindeer hoof.

Material and Methods: The gross anatomy of the reindeer hooves was examined. Stereo microscope (SM) and a scanning electron microscope (SEM) were used to observe four key selected positions of reindeer hooves. Moreover, element contents of the three selected positions of reindeer hooves were analysed using the SEM equipped with energy dispersive spectroscope.

Results: Hoof bone structures were similar to other artiodactyl animals. In the microscopic analysis, the surfaces of the ungula sphere and ungula sole presented irregular laminated structure. Ungula edge surfaces were smooth and ungula cusp surfaces had unique features. Aside from C, O, and N, reindeer hooves contained such elements as S, Si, Fe, Al, and Ca. The content of the elements in different parts varied. Ti was the particular element in the ungula sole, and ungula edge lacked Mg and S which other parts contained.

Conclusion: The macro- and micro-structures of the reindeer hooves showed high performance of skid and abrasion resistance. It is most probably essential to the long distance migration for the animals.

Open access
Variations in biomass, nutrient contents and nutrient use efficiency among Chinese fir provenances


A provenance trial involving 16 Chinese fir provenances was established in southern China in 1979, and biomass, nutrient content and nutrient use efficiency were assessed at the age of 23. One-way analysis of variance revealed significant inter-provenance variation (p<0.0001) in measured variables. The mean total biomass ranged from 98.8±5.3 to 163.3±4.2 t ha−1, and the stemwood accounted for 47–65% of the total biomass, followed by roots (11–24%), stembark (7.4–13.7%), and needles and branches (< 10 %). Much of the nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium were stored in the needles, although the concentration varies among provenances. Whole-tree nutrient use efficiency varied from 115.4±2.1 to 180.2±1.02 g g−1, while efficiency in stemwood production ranged from 53.9±3.1 to 106.3±1.1 g g−1. Provenances did not display consistent variation in all measured variables, suggesting the need for multiple criteria for selection in future tree improvement program. In conclusion, the study reveals the existence of considerable variation in biomass production and nutrient use efficiency among Chinese fir provenances that can be exploited for selecting desirable genotypes for enhancing productivity of Chinese fir plantations.

Open access