Stomata in extant and fossil Euro-Mediterranean oaks (Fagaceae).



Anatomical changes and evolutionary trends in the foliar epidermis of extant and fossil Euro-Mediterranean oaks (Fagaceae).

by Uzunova K., Palamarev E., Ehrendorfer F. (1997)

Uzunova K., Institute of Botany, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Prof. G. Boncev Str., bl. 23, 1113 Sofia, Bulgaria

Palamarev E., Institute of Botany, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Prof. G. Boncev Str., bl. 23, 1113 Sofia, Bulgaria

Ehrendorfer F., Commission for Interdisciplinary Ecological Studies, Austrian Academy of Sciences and Institute of Botany, University of Vienna, Rennweg 14, A-1030 Vienna, Austria

in Plant Systematics and Evolution 204, 141–159.


The differentiation of foliar epidermis structures, cuticles, stomata, and indumentum of most of the extant Euro-Mediterranean taxa of Quercus have been studied by light and scanning electron microscopy, and compared with other genera and fossil material.

Results allow the recognition of the subgg.Sclerophyllodrys, Cerris and Quercus, and of various sections and even individual species.

The cyclocytic stomata type, regarded as plesiomorphic, is found in the geologically oldest representatives of the familiy (Dryophyllum, resp.Eotrigonobalanus) and in the relatively old, evergreen to semi-evergreen species of Quercus subgg.Sclerophyllodrys and Cerris. These taxa also have relatively thick and smooth cuticles.

Anomocytic stomata, thinner cuticles and the presence of crystalline wax flakes are regarded as apomorphic features and characterize the deciduous taxa of subg.Quercus. These changes are interpreted as ecological adaptations to the changing climates from the Tertiary to the present. An analysis of the various character combinations found in macrofossils and the often poor species separation in Quercus suggest that hybridization has played a major role in the evolution of the Euro-Mediterranean oaks.


Published by

Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s