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Figure S1. Monthly cumulative radial growth (diameter) of shoots of different ages (1-, 2- and 3-year-old shoots) of the six sub-shrub species. Data are means ± SE (n = 15).

Figure S2. Example of the processing protocol of an image based on a section of a 2-year old branch of Ononis fruticosa sampled in August 2004 (A). The original grey image was processed and converted into a black and white image (B). Then, the pith area was removed and the oldest (C) and youngest (D) rings defined to quantify the total and individual areas of vessels located within each annual ring.

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