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Jack B. Fisher, Anders Lindström, and Thomas E. Marler

Methods The total number of plants examined for the following species are given in brackets: Cycas edentata de Laub. (nine), Cycas elongata (Leandri) D. Yue Wang (three), Cycas hainanensis C.J. Chen (three), Cycas macrocarpa Griff. (two), Cycas

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Thomas E. Marler, Anders Lindström, and Jack B. Fisher

Dimensions of pith, vascular tissue, cortex, live leaf bases, and periderm layers comprising the diameter of the stems of six Cycas species were measured at the standardized stem height where two vascular cylinders existed. The six species represent a range in susceptibility to injuries that occur in routine horticultural operations. We assigned a subjective numeric ranking from 1 for difficult to 10 for easy and then determined if this ranking correlated with any of the dimension characteristics. Pith diameter and cortex width differed among the species with the highly sensitive C. macrocarpa Griff. exhibiting the widest pith and most narrow cortex. Width of tissues peripheral to the vascular tissue (cortex, leaf base, and periderm layers) also differed among the species as did the proportion of total stem diameter occupied by these peripheral tissues. The sensitive C. macrocarpa exhibited the smallest values for these two variables. Simple correlation and multiple regression analyses indicated cortex width, total stem diameter, absolute width of peripheral tissues, and the relative proportion of these peripheral tissues in relation to stem diameter were positively correlated with susceptibility ranking. Of these, the relative proportion of peripheral tissues emerged as the variable with the most significant association with susceptibility ranking. Among these six representative species, the species that tend to be least susceptible to injuries during horticultural operations protect the youngest vascular tissues within a relatively wide zone of peripheral tissue. In contrast, the sensitive species exhibit a narrow zone of protective peripheral tissues.