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Softwood from the Boureau’s collection: re-examination in the light of the ABIeS database


The ABIeS database aims to become the equivalent for softwood anatomy of what Insidewood database represents today for hardwoods. This project, begun two years ago, was intended for producing a knowledge database on the anatomy of extant and fossil coniferous woods. In a first time, we initiated a work on softwood features. Although the main nomenclature of these features is the one proposed by the IAWA, a review of other features was realized using key references on softwood anatomy. A number of original features were also proposed. Emphasis has been placed on the qualitative features related to radial and cross-field pits, which are particularly important for softwood identification but also on quantitative traits linked to fibers, rays and pits. All these characters were then tested in order 1) to assess their effectiveness and usability, 2) to evaluate their relationships and 3) to establish their efficiency to discriminate different taxa (at the specific, genera or family level). A short list of features that seemed the most judicious but also the most commonly used by the wood anatomist community was then set up. Finally, a thesaurus was compiled to define, illustrate and explain the coding methodology for these selected features. In a second step of our project, we chose to illustrate extant genera diversity by including all material available in each family in the xylotheque of diverse institutions (MNHN in Paris, CIRAD in Montpellier and in the Royal Museum for Central Africa in Tervuren). For the largest genera, that is those with more than 10 species, we chose to code at least 20% of their species. The latter were selected from recent phylogenies in the aim of illustrating the diversity of the genera. Data on biological habit and ecological requirements of the different species were also provided. The third phase of this work was dedicated to the inclusion of some of the fossil woods from the Boureau’s collection. This work allows us to re-examine many type specimens in the light of extant conifer anatomy, to evaluate their anatomical proximity but also to detect potential impact of ecological or bio-geographical parameters on fossil wood anatomy. This project, although initiated within the CR2P in Paris has a collaborative aim. We invite all the researchers who are interested by the wood anatomy of extant and fossil conifers to join us.
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mnhn-03226130 , version 1 (14-05-2021)


  • HAL Id : mnhn-03226130 , version 1


Anais A Boura, Llopis Lucas, Gorse Mathilde, A. Kerner, Denise Pons, et al.. Softwood from the Boureau’s collection: re-examination in the light of the ABIeS database. IPC 5, Jul 2018, Paris, France. ⟨mnhn-03226130⟩
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