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Protocols in ecological and environmental plant physiology


Article << Previous     |     Next >>   Contents Vol 62(2)

Functional groups in Lychnophorinae (Asteraceae: Vernonieae) based on morphological and anatomical traits

Makeli Garibotti Lusa A B, Beatriz Appezzato-da-Glória A, Benoît Loeuille C, Giacomo Bartoli D and Daniela Ciccarelli D E

A Departamento de Ciências Biológicas, Escola Superior de Agricultura ‘Luiz de Queiroz’, Avenida Pádua Dias 11, Universidade de São Paulo, 13418-900, Piracicaba, SP, Brasil.
B Programa de Pós-graduação em Biologia Vegetal, Instituto de Biologia, UNICAMP, C.P. 6109, 13083-970, Campinas, SP, Brasil.
C Departamento de Botânica, Instituto de Biociências, Universidade de São Paulo, Rua do Matão 277, 05508-090, São Paulo, SP, Brasil.
D Dipartimento di Biologia, Università di Pisa, Via Luca Ghini 13, 56126 Pisa, Italia.
E Corresponding author. Email: dciccarelli@biologia.unipi.it

Australian Journal of Botany 62(2) 150-163 http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/BT13301
Submitted: 18 December 2013  Accepted: 10 April 2014   Published: 16 May 2014

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The Lychnophorinae subtribe (Asteraceae: Vernonieae) occurs mainly on the Central Brazilian Plateau, especially in areas characterised by intense solar radiation, large daily temperature fluctuations, water scarcity during autumn and winter, and frequent fire. However, a few species of Lychnophorinae, such as Blanchetia heterotricha DC., are not restricted to the Cerrado Domain, but can live in open and humid areas of borders of the Atlantic Forest. To understand the mechanisms of Lychnophorinae adaptation to these environmental conditions, habit, leaf and stem functional traits from 12 species were analysed. Leaf and stem samples were processed and stained using standard plant-anatomy methodology. A comparative analysis of functional groups was performed by principal coordinates analysis, which was applied to two matrices of 30 qualitative and five quantitative traits. The multivariate analysis based on qualitative traits highlighted the following four functional types that might be linked to ecological conditions: Group I adapted at open and humid areas of borders of the Atlantic Forest; Group II, with features mostly related to foggy habitats; Group III, exhibiting traits quite adapted to the seasonally dry and variable conditions of the campos rupestres; and Group IV, showing the most specialised morphological and anatomical traits, which might be related to the extreme conditions of the campos rupestres.

Additional keywords: Cerrado Domain, Compositae, plant adaptation, plant anatomy, plant functional types.


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