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Protocols in ecological and environmental plant physiology


Article << Previous     |         Contents Vol 61(5)

Variation in leaf structure of the invasive Madeira vine (Anredera cordifolia, Basellaceae) at different light levels

Richard L. Boyne A C, Olusegun O. Osunkoya B and Tanya Scharaschkin A

A School of Earth, Environment and Biological Sciences, Science and Engineering Faculty, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Qld 4001, Australia.
B Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestries, Biosecurity Queensland, Ecosciences Precinct, GPO Box 267, Brisbane, Qld 4001, Australia.
C Corresponding author. Email: rboyne@bigpond.com

Australian Journal of Botany 61(5) 412-417 http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/BT13083
Submitted: 23 March 2013  Accepted: 9 June 2013   Published: 18 July 2013

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Madeira vine (Anredera cordifolia (Ten.) Steenis) is a climber in the angiosperm family Basellaceae. It is native to South America and has naturalised in Australia. It is regarded as a serious environmental weed because of the structural damage it causes to native vegetation. The present study, for the first time, documents anatomical and morphological traits of the leaves of A. cordifolia and considers their implications for its ecology and physiology. Plants were grown under three different light levels, and anatomical and morphological leaf characters were compared among light levels, among cohorts, and with documented traits of the related species, Basella alba L. Stomata were present on both the adaxial and abaxial sides of the leaf, with significantly more stomata on the abaxial side and under high light. This may account for the ability of this species to fix large amounts of carbon and rapidly respond to light gaps. The leaves had very narrow veins and no sclerenchyma, suggesting a low construction cost that is associated with invasive plants. There was no significant difference in any of the traits among different cohorts, which agrees with the claim that A. cordifolia primarily propagates vegetatively. The anatomy and morphology of A. cordifolia was similar to that of B. alba.

Additional keywords: anatomy, ecophysiology, phenotypic plasticity, weed.


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