DOI: https://doi.org/10.5424/fs/2009182-01064

Abstract: An analysis was made of the wood anatomy of seven species, one subspecies and two varieties of the genus Abies from the Mediterranean area (A. alba, A. borisii-regis, A. cephalonica, A. cilicica, A. nordmanniana, A. nordmanniana subsp. equi-trojani, A. numidica, A. pinsapo, A. pinsapo var. marocana and A. pinsapo var. tazaotana) in order to find phyletically relevant features to help clarify and complement the evolutionary patterns based on molecular studies. The wood structure within the genus was qualitatively similar, except for specific features characteristic of certain provenances. However, the wood biometry allowed the different taxa to be grouped in accordance with their anatomical similarity. A. alba, A. pinsapo, A. pinsapo var. marocana and A. pinsapovar. tazaotana possess biometric features which distinguish them from the other Mediterranean firs. Furthermore, A. numidica showed biometric features which distinguish it from the eastern firs (A. borisii-regis, A. cephalonica, A. cilicica, A. nordmanniana and A. nordmanniana subsp. equi-trojani) and place it closer to certain Iberian populations of A. pinsapo. The maximum ray height in number of cells, frequency of rays with more than 30 cells and tracheid length can be regarded as specific patterns of the Mediterranean fir phylum.