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Abstract Detail

Recent Topics Posters

Fradera-Soler, Marc [1], Rudall, Paula J [1], Prychid, Christina J [1], Grace, Olwen [2].

Morpho-anatomical diversity and water-storage capacity in succulent leaves of Crassula (Crassulaceae) from southern Africa are correlated with environmental factors at different ecological levels.

Succulence is widely perceived as an adaptation to drought, usually associated with CAM photosynthesis and other xeromorphic features among arid-adapted plants. However, this syndrome can also be observed in some species typical of mesic and humid environments. The leaf-succulent genus Crassula (Crassulaceae) occurs in contrasting habitats in all nine southern African biomes. This study represents the first to compare leaf traits in species from the diverse habitat preferences of Crassula in southern Africa. We investigated leaf succulence and several morpho-anatomical traits of five southern African Crassula species (C. ausensis, C. brevifolia, C. multicava, C. nudicaulis and C. tecta) to determine their potential adaptive significance. For each species, we recorded leaf anatomy, surface structure and hydrophobicity and water content. Our study shows that water content is relatively consistent in Crassula regardless of biome, which could indicate a stronger correlation with xeric microhabitat conditions. In contrast, leaf morpho-anatomical traits are strongly correlated with macrohabitat (i.e. biome) conditions. Thus, differences in mesophyll traits are related to water storage and potentially CAM performance, while differences in leaf surface properties are related to water conservation and water uptake through hydathodes.

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1 - Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, Greater London, TW9 3AB, Regne Unit
2 - Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, TW9 3AE, UK

drought adaptation

Presentation Type:
Session: P, Recent Topics Posters
Location: Arizona Ballroom/Starr Pass
Date: Monday, July 29th, 2019
Time: 5:30 PM
Number: PRT015
Abstract ID:1385
Candidate for Awards:None

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