Plant Systematics and Evolution

, Volume 303, Issue 2, pp 203–219 | Cite as

Comparative wood anatomy of the Cupressaceae and correspondence with phylogeny, with special reference to the monotypic taxa

  • Elena Román-Jordán
  • Luis G. Esteban
  • Paloma de Palacios
  • Francisco G. Fernández
Original Article


Wood anatomy is one of the tools used for taxonomic classification of species. By combining this tool with molecular phylogeny, the current groupings made in morphological studies can be discussed. This study describes the wood anatomy of the monotypic genera of Cupressaceae and analyses the features that could represent synapomorphies of the principal clades recovered by molecular phylogeny. The wood anatomical study shows the high homogeneity of this family, revealing the presence of common ancestral features that support the union between Taxodiaceae and Cupressaceae s.s. and the separation of Sciadopitys. It also supports the group formed by Taxodiaceae in Cupressaceae s.l. No clear division was observed between the callitroid and cupressoid clades. Some wood anatomical differences were observed in the FitzroyaDiselmaPilgerodendron and MicrobiotaPlatycladusTetraclinis associations. The wood anatomical features common to the family, such as axial tracheids without helical thickenings, homogeneous rays, cupressoid cross-field pits and the presence of a warty layer, are put forward as possible synapomorphies for Cupressaceae s.l. The clade-specific synapomorphies are taxodioid cross-field pits for taxodioid and sequoioid clades, absence of a well-defined torus in ThujaThujopsis and torus extensions in DiselmaFitzroyaWiddringtonia.


Anatomy Cupressaceae Phylogeny Taxodiaceae Wood 



The authors are grateful to the research centres that provided samples for this study and to the Jodrell Laboratory and Kew Gardens libraries for the documentation provided for the study of the literature.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elena Román-Jordán
    • 1
  • Luis G. Esteban
    • 1
  • Paloma de Palacios
    • 1
  • Francisco G. Fernández
    • 1
  1. 1.Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Escuela Técnica Superior de Ingenieros de MontesMadridSpain

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