Identification of natural sunken wood samples

Marie PAILLERET, Nima SAEDLOU, Carmen PALACIOS, Magali ZBINDEN, Philippe LEBARON, françoise GAILL & Catherine PRIVÉ-GILL

en Comptes Rendus Palevol 6 (6-7) - Pages 463-468

Published on 30 November 2007

This article is a part of the thematic issue Palaeobotany and evolution of the plants' world: Some current problems

Sunken woods are abundant in deep oceanic environments, housing a huge faunal diversity. Studies on that substrate firstly focused on the associated organisms, but since a few years, identification of wood is a further aim. The purpose is to appreciate its degradation state, diversity, geographical origin and to identify specific associations between colonizing organisms and substrates. The first determinations were made on sunken woods from Taiwan/Philippines, the Vanuatu Archipelago, and the Mediterranean Sea. Samples’ identification was based on histological studies. Different preparation techniques were used, depending on their degradation state. Detailed anatomy descriptions were made and compared to the native flora and the introduced species. Wood samples were well preserved. Diversified species were encountered, seemingly originating from local floras. In situ settlements of known wood species will enhance the knowledge of degradation and colonization degrees.


Sunken wood, first identifications, local flora, Vanuatu, Taiwan/Philippines, Mediterranean sea

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