Leaf morphology of 89 tree species from a lowland tropical rain forest (Atlantic Forest) in South Brazil

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Abstract

We examined the leaf morphology and anatomy of 89 tree species growing in an area of coastal Atlantic Forest in South Brazil. The majority of the species (> 75%) had small (notophyll and microphyll) elliptical simple leaves with entire margins. These leaves presented a typical anatomical structure consisting of a single epidermal cell layer, single palisade parenchyma cell layer, and spongy parenchyma with 5 to 8 cell layers. The sclerenchyma was limited to the vascular bundles. The majority of the tree species (91%) had leaves with mesomorphic characteristics. Few species depicted leaves with xeromorphic features as would be expected in such oligotrophic sandy soil. These mesomorphic features appeared to be associated to high efficiency mechanisms for nutrient cycling that compensated for the low nutrient content of the mineral soil.

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Torres Boeger, M. R., Alves, L. C., & Bonatto Negrelle, R. R. (2004). Leaf morphology of 89 tree species from a lowland tropical rain forest (Atlantic Forest) in South Brazil. Brazilian Archives of Biology and Technology, 47(6), 933–943. https://doi.org/10.1590/s1516-89132004000600013

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