Ingrid Roth:

Leaf structure

Coastal vegetation and mangroves of Venezuela

1992. 172 pages, 105 figures, 8 tables, 1 map, 17x24cm, 580 g
Language: English

(Encyclopedia of Plant Anatomy, Band XIV Teil 2)

ISBN 978-3-443-14020-5, bound, price: 70.00 €

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English description top ↑

In the first volume of the new series of the «Encyclopedia of Plant Anatomy» dealing with tropical plants, the leaf structure of a tropical montane forest in Venezuela was investigated. The series is now continued with the description of the leaf anatomy of plants growing along the Venezuelan coastline. Emphasis is laid particularly on a coastal region the flora of which does not exist any more, as the plants had to give way to the construction of an airport.

Size and appearance of the plants is described, as well as the extent of their root systems. Phenology, dispersal and propagation are discussed. Leaf size and shape, leaf position and leaf movement are important features of the coastal plant communities. Equifaciality is considered a frequent characteristic of the strand vegetation. The C4-syndrome is frequently observed. Chloroplast migration within the sheath cells is described as a new phenomenon. Salt factor and succulence are discussed as well as leaf consistence. Density, position and size of stomata are studied. It is suggested that glandular hairs may have the function of water transportation in two opposite directions. The xeromorphic characteristics of the leaves are discussed and compared with those of plants from dryer regions in Venezuela. Finally, the four mangrove species indigenous to Venezuela are studied and structural variations in the leaves due to changing environmental conditions and salinity are discussed. An interpretation of the function of the slimy layer in the leaves of Rhizophora is attempted.

Emphasis is laid on the influence of ecological factors on the leaf structure in general.

Of interest to every botanist, specialists in forestry, paleo­botanists, relevant research institutes, institutes for applied botany, institutes for wood research, agricultural colleges, science libraries.

Contents top ↑

Introduction 1
Leaf morphology and anatomy of 22 species of the Venezuelan littoral
(Playa Grande) 3
Site and climate 3
Material and methods 4
Description of the plants studied 4
Asclepiadaceae: Calotropis gigantea 4
Boraginaceae: Heliotropium angiospermum, H. polyphyllum, Tournefortia
scandens 6
Cactaceae: Pereskia grandifolia 6
Caesalpiniaceae: Parkinsonia aculeata 6
Capparidaceae: Capparis odoratissima 8
Convovulaceae: Ipomoca pes-caprae 8
Euphorbiaceae: Croton rhamnifolius, Euphorbia buxifolia, Jatropha
gossypiifolia 8
Gramineae: Chloris radiata 8
Ch. virgata, Setaria macrostachya, Sporobolus indicus 9
Malvaceae: Thespesia populnea 9
Malpighiaceae: Malpighia glabra 10
Mimosaceae: Pithecellobium pittieri, Prosopis juliflora 10
Polygonaceae: Coccoloba uvifera 10
Solanaceae: Lycium tweedianum 11
Theophrastaceae: Jacquinia sp. 11
Leaf size and shape 11
Distribution and size of stomata 14
Stomata density 14
Position of stomata 36
Stomata size 37
Leaf anatomy of the 22 species studied 39
Three herbaceous species from the beach of Cumana 67
Description of the three species 67
Sporobolus virginicus 67
Cenchrus echinatus 67
Tribulus cistoides 68
Inner leaf structure of the 3 species studied 68
Chloroplasts of different sizes and their distribution in the cells 70
The time-table of the chloroplasts 71
Leaf reduction and transference of photosynthetic tissues to the stem 74
Cercidium torreyanum 74
Cercidium praecox 75
Parkinsonia aculeata 79
Pseudobombax maximum 82
Pedilanthus tithymaloides 85
Discussion 89
Plant communities in question 89
Size and appearance of the plants 90
Root system 93
Phenology 94
Dispersal and propagation 95
Leaf size and shape 98
Leaf position and equifaciality 98
Leaf movement 101
Equifacial or isolateral leaves 102
Occurrence and structure of the palisade parenchyma 103
The C4 syndrome 105
Chloroplast migration 108
Salt spray from the ocean 109
Salt factor and succulence 110
Tissue succulence in the leaves studied 112
Leaf consistence 113
Xeromorphic characteristics of the leaves studied 114
Density, position and size of stomata 118
Glandular hairs and their possible functions 120
Comparison of the foliar structure of the species studied with that of
17 species of Capparaceae 120
Coastal vegetation: Final conclusions 122
Four mangrove species from different habitats 130
Rhizophora mangle 132
Avicennia germinans 138
Laguncularia Yacemosa 143
Conocarpus erectus 149
Structural variations in the leaves due to changing environmental
conditions 154
Structural variations in the leaves of Laguncularia racemosa and
Rhizophora mangle under controlled salinity 156
Mangroves: Final conclusions 157
Bibliography 162
Subject index 168
Author index 168
Index of scientific plant names 170