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Elaphoglossum (Dryopteridaceae-Fern) of Amazon Rainforest in Brazil: Anatomic Characterization and Adaptative Strategies

DOI: 10.4236/ajps.2013.49229, PP. 1863-1871

Keywords: Fern, Ombrophilous Forest, Epiphytes, Comparative Anatomy, Secondary Metabolites

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Abstract:

This study describes the anatomy of sterile leaves of Elaphoglossum discolor (Kuhn) C. Chr., E. flaccidum (Fée) T. Moore and E. laminarioides (Bory ex Fée) T. Moore, the most representative species of the genus in the Ecological Park of Gunma in Pará State. It reports the main diagnostic characters and provides new systematic data for the group. In addition, it locates the production and accumulation sites of bioactive compounds to determine possible adaptive strategies of these species in the Amazon rainforest environment. Diagnostic structural features include stoma typology, central veins and margin forms, type of mesophyll, and the presence of schlerenchymatous sheaths in the cortex, among others. Among the bioactive compounds related to defense adaptation are phenolic compounds, which occur in all three species, and alkaloids and mucilage, which are exclusive to E. laminarioides. Of the three species studied, E. laminarioides has features that make it the best suited to the rainforest environment.

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