, Volume 299, Issue 1, pp 35-48,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 31 Oct 2012

Relationships among Cedrus libani, C. brevifolia and C. atlantica as revealed by the morphological and anatomical needle characters

Abstract

The main aim of the present study was testing the value of the morphological and anatomical characteristics of the needles in distinguishing Cedrus atlantica, C. libani and C. brevifolia. Nine populations were sampled in their natural habit and 25 characters were used to describe the variation of the brachyblast needles and to analyze the differences between species. The results indicated that morphological and anatomical needle characters provide valuable tools in discrimination of the taxa. The scored differences were statistically significant, as revealed in the Tukey’s t test, discrimination analysis and hierarchical analysis of variation. The results support treating C. libani, C. atlantica and C. brevifolia as independent species.