Is porous wood structure exclusive of deciduous trees?


en Comptes Rendus Palevol 6 (6-7) - Pages 385-391

Published on 30 November 2007

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

According to the IAWA committee (1989), the ring-porous wood is defined as a “wood in which the vessels in the earlywood are distinctly larger than those in the latewood of the previous and of the same growth ring.” This ring-porous structure is mainly present in regions with contrasted seasons. Some authors have mentioned the potential correlation between ring-porous structure and the deciduousness of the trees, but no precise inventory of species has been provided until now to verify this hypothesis. We compared, with the help of Insidewood (2004) and diverse floras, the wood porosity of 1176 species from temperate countries and 3886 from tropical countries as well as their foliage characteristics. As wood features are frequently preserved in fossil specimens, they could constitute an interesting marker of vegetation type and be used to infer the seasonality of the palaeoclimate.


Ring-porous wood, deciduousness, leaves, seasonality

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