Adaptative Leaf Morphology of Eurya japonica Thunb. (Ternstroemiaceae) in Serpentine Areas

  •  Masayuki Shiba    
  •  Tomoki Tate    
  •  Tatsuya Fukuda    


Serpentine soils are known to affect plant growth and plants in these soils have morphological and anatomical modifications. Comparative leaf morphology and anatomy studies of Eurya japonica Thunb. was conducted between serpentine and inland (control) areas. Our morphological analyses revealed that the individuals in the serpentine areas had significantly smaller and thicker leaves than those in the inland areas. Our anatomical analyses showed that the smaller leaves of serpentines had decreased numbers of cells, and their thicker leaves contributed to the increased height of epidermal cells, palisade tissue, and spongy tissue. Furthermore, the stomatal size of serpentines was significantly smaller than those from the inland areas. We concluded that E. japonica adapted to the serpentine areas by decreasing leaf size due to low levels of nutrients, by thickening the leaves to store water and reducing the stomatal size to minimize water loss via gas exchange.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
  • ISSN(Print): 1927-0461
  • ISSN(Online): 1927-047X
  • Started: 2012
  • Frequency: annual

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