Classification of wood anatomical features has a long tradition. Nevertheless, a comprehensive list of stem anatomical features of plants from diverse environments (e.g. from swamps to deserts) is still lacking. The present key has been created on the basis of experiences made during wood anatomy and tree-ringing ecology training schools. The authors present an image-based codification system for xylem (cross and longitudinal sections), and phloem, cortex and periderm anatomy as seen in cross sections. In the periderm region the phellogen and phelloderm are in most cases hard to differentiate, so the focus has therefore been on phellem anatomical structures.
The aim is provide a basis for further wood anatomical investigations towards bark and species belonging to various growth forms from very diverse environments.