Research Paper

Leaf epidermal micromorphology of Beilschmiedia Nees (Lauraceae) from Africa

Kadiri Akeem Babalola, Gang Zeng, Bing Liu, David K. Ferguson, Yong Yang

Published on: 24 August 2021

Page: 378 - 386

DOI: 10.6165/tai.2021.66.378

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2021 vol.66 no.3 pp.378-386


Leaf cuticular anatomy of the Beilschmiedia Nees group were studied for taxonomic purposes and species from America, Asia, and Australia were well represented, however species sampling from the Africa mainland was rarely sampled. Here we studied 14 species of Beilschmiedia from the Africa mainland using light and scanning electron microscopy. The leaves of all the studied species are hypostomatic with paracytic stomata. The presence or absence of peristomatal ridges constitutes a distinctive character of taxonomic significance. Stomatal orientation is sunken, superficial or raised; lower stomatal ledges are narrow lip-shaped and stomatal rim surface is smooth or rough. The anticlinal wall is uniformly straight and angular on the adaxial surface and curved, sinuous or undulate on the abaxial surface. Uniformity of thickness of the anticlinal walls is variable, beaded or not beaded, rarely buttressed or unevenly thickened. The periclinal wall is usually smooth or rarely punctate. Leaf micromorphological characters partially support the existing infra-generic classification that is based on macromorphology. This study provides supplementary data of leaf micromorphology for classification of the Beilschmiedia group. We confirmed the taxonomic usefulness of leaf epidermis characters to some extent in grouping of the African Beilschmiedia species, especially those of stomata.

Keyword: Anatomy, Lauraceae, light microscopy (LM), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), taxonomy