Comparative leaf anatomy and micromorphology of the Chilean Myrtaceae: Taxonomic and ecological implications

Retamales, Hernan A. & Scharaschkin, Tanya (2015) Comparative leaf anatomy and micromorphology of the Chilean Myrtaceae: Taxonomic and ecological implications. Flora, 217, pp. 138-154.

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The family Myrtaceae in Chile comprises 26 species in 10 genera. The species occur in a diverse rangeof environments including humid temperate forests, swamps, riparian habitats and coastal xeromorphicshrublands. Most of these species are either endemic to Chile or endemic to the humid temperate forestsof Chile and Argentina. Although many taxa have very restricted distributions and are of conservationconcern, little is known about their biology and vegetative anatomy. In this investigation, we describe andcompare the leaf anatomy and micromorphology of all Chilean Myrtaceae using standard protocols forlight and scanning electron microscopy. Leaf characters described here are related to epidermis, cuticle,papillae, stomata, hairs, mesophyll, crystals, secretory cavities and vascular system. Nearly all the specieshave a typical mesophytic leaf anatomy, but some species possess xerophytic characters such as doubleepidermis, hypodermis, pubescent leaves, thick adaxial epidermis and straight epidermal anticlinal walls,which correlate with the ecological distribution of the species. This is the first report on leaf anatomyand micromorphology in most of these species. We identified several leaf characters with potential tax-onomic and ecological significance. Some combinations of leaf characters can reliably delimitate genera,while others are unique to some species. An identification key using micromorphological and anatomicalcharacters is provided to distinguish genera and species.

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ID Code: 90068
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Anatomy, Histology, Myrtaceae, Chile, Taxonomy, Ecology
DOI: 10.1016/j.flora.2015.10.005
ISSN: 0367-2530
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Earth, Environmental & Biological Sciences
Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Science and Technology
Deposited On: 09 Nov 2015 04:33
Last Modified: 27 Dec 2016 15:57

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