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The foliar characters in Callitris (Callitroideae, Cupressaceae s. str.) and their evolutionary and ecological significance

Dörken, V.M., Ladd, P.G.ORCID: 0000-0002-7730-9685 and Parsons, R.F. (2019) The foliar characters in Callitris (Callitroideae, Cupressaceae s. str.) and their evolutionary and ecological significance. Feddes Repertorium, 130 (3). pp. 247-271.

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The foliar shift from juvenile needle leaves to the mature scale leaves was investigated in five Callitris species. Their habitats range from rainforest to the semi-arid. In C. macleayana from the most mesic environment the change from needle to scale leaves is variable and juvenile leave are even retained on mature trees. In the other four species there is a rapid change in size and structure to scale leaves. Anatomically the photosynthetic tissue is condensed and stomatal area is limited compared to species with conventional leaves. A hypodermis is most prominent on the abaxial side of the leaves and may play a role in protection from high solar radiation as most species grow in high light areas. While stomata in the four taxa from wet or moderate rainfall areas are freely exposed, those of C. gracilis from semi-arid habitats are well protected in longitudinal furrows between the decurrent leaves. The reduced leaf area of all species allows close association between the water-conducting xylem and the stomata that will facilitate rapid leaf conductance. This links with the anisohydric physiology of the genus and the shallow rooting that can take advantage of brief rainfall events for species in arid climates.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Veterinary and Life Sciences
Publisher: Wiley-VCH Verlag
Copyright: © 2019 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim
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