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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.