Epidermis of xerophytes

Jon Monroe MONROEJD at VAX1.ACS.JMU.EDU
Wed Oct 25 21:01:12 EST 1995


Plant-eders:

In a recent botany lab on leaves our students looked at a prepared slide of
cross sections of mesophyte, hydrophyte and xerophyte leaves.  Most of the
adaptations make sense to me except for the multiple layers of epidermal cells
in the xerophyte.  We thought about the types of stresses these plants might be
under, including high UV light, and came up with the hypothesis that perhaps
these extra epidermal cells provide for more UV absorbing potential since
epidermal cell vacuoles do accumulate phenolic compounds that seem to serve
such a function.  Does anyone know if this has been examined?  Do you know of
other potential functions?  Raven, Evert and Curtis (3rd edition, p.461) show
them in Oleander but don't mention them in the text.

Thanks!  Jon

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