Anais da Academia Brasileira de Ciências
Print version ISSN 0001-3765
FARIA, Ana Paula G. de; VIEIRA, Ana Claudia M. and WENDT, Tânia. Leaf anatomy and its contribution to the systematics of Aechmea subgenus Macrochordion (de Vriese) Baker (Bromeliaceae). An. Acad. Bras. Ciênc. [online]. 2012, vol.84, n.4, pp. 961-971. Epub Aug 30, 2012. ISSN 0001-3765. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0001-37652012005000053.
The leaf anatomy of the species Aechmea subgenus Macrochordion was analyzed to obtain valuable data on their taxonomic delimitation and to identify anatomical adaptations to their respective habitats and habits. All leaves of these species are hypostomatic, and present: peltate trichomes on both surfaces; stomata sunk in epidermal depressions; small epidermal cells with thick walls and inclusions of silica bodies; a mechanical hypodermis; an aquiferous parenchyma; chlorenchyma with fibrous clusters and air channels; and vascular bundles surrounded by a parenchymatic sheath and a cap of fibers. The results are evaluated within an adaptive and taxonomic context. Variations in hypodermic thickening, amount of water parenchyma, position of the air channels and shape of the cells filling the air channels are useful for delimiting groups of species, strengthening the relationships suggested by their external morphology.
Keywords : Aechmea; Bromeliaceae; leaf anatomy; Macrochordion.