Leaf anatomical adaptation of eighteen mangrove plant species from the Sundarbans in Bangladesh
Keywords:Leaf anatomy, Adaptation, Mangrove plant species
Investigation on leaf anatomical adaptation of 18 mangrove plant species was carried out. Among the 18 species 13 were dorsiventral and five were isobilateral type. All the species had special stomatal structure and variable cuticle layer to minimize transpiration. Most of the species had succulent leaves with leaf thickness ranging from around 232 to 1363 μm. As an indication of salt secretion, both glandular and non-glandular trichomes were observed in several species. Although presence of single to multilayered hypodermis might effectively function as water storage tissue, several studied mangrove plant species e.g. Cynometra ramiflora L., Phoenix paludosa Roxb., Pongamea pinnata (L.) Pierre, Sonneratia apetala Buch. - Ham., S. caseolaris (L.) Engl. and Xylocarpus moluccensis (Lamk.) M. Roem. showed complete absence of hypodermis. This might be due to moderate saline condition. In addition, marked terminal tracheids in mesophyll tissue of a number of species might help with capillary water storage within the leaf. To enhance mechanical support several species were found to develop considerable amount of diverse sclereids within the mesophyll tissue and surrounding vascular bundle. Although maximum anatomical adaptations are common for plants growing in saline habitat it may be suggested that these features were differentially developed in plants specifically grown in mesohaline zone.
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