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      Meso- or xeromorphic? Foliar characters of Asteraceae in a xeric scrub of Mexico

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          Abstract

          Background

          The anatomical traits associated with water deficit are also observed in plants growing in poor soils. The species may resist water deficit through three main strategies: escape, avoid or tolerate. The Pedregal de San Ángel Ecological Reserve (REPSA), Mexico, is an environment with low nutrient soil and low water availability. It is set on the basalt formation derived from the Xitle volcano eruption. The main vegetation type is characterized as xerophytic shrub. Thus we expect that species growing in this community will show leaf xeromorphic traits and may have any of the three response strategies. We analyzed the foliar anatomy of 52 species of the Asteraceae family at the REPSA because it is the most abundant angiosperm family in the site, showing a wide variety of growth forms and anatomical variation.

          Results

          The foliar anatomies of the studied Asteraceae were highly variable as well as their quantitative traits as revealed by principal component analysis. This agrees with previous studies that found great anatomical variation within the family. Leaves have multiple layered palisade parenchyma and parenchyma bundle sheaths and could not be categorized as xeromorphic because they possess mesomorphic leaf features as simple lamina, single-layered epidermis, and soft large-size glabrous leaves with high specific leaf area.

          Conclusions

          The combination of mesomorphic and few xeromorphic foliar traits with other characters at the genus and tribal level probably has been essential in Asteraceae to colonize various environments, including those with low water and nutrient availability.

          Electronic supplementary material

          The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s40529-017-0166-x) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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          Most cited references 67

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          Plant microtechnique

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            Understanding plant responses to drought — from genes to the whole plant

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              The role of stomata in sensing and driving environmental change.

              Stomata, the small pores on the surfaces of leaves and stalks, regulate the flow of gases in and out of leaves and thus plants as a whole. They adapt to local and global changes on all timescales from minutes to millennia. Recent data from diverse fields are establishing their central importance to plant physiology, evolution and global ecology. Stomatal morphology, distribution and behaviour respond to a spectrum of signals, from intracellular signalling to global climatic change. Such concerted adaptation results from a web of control systems, reminiscent of a 'scale-free' network, whose untangling requires integrated approaches beyond those currently used.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                rivera.perezpatricia@gmail.com
                vrios@ib.unam.mx
                tterrazas@ib.unam.mx
                Journal
                Bot Stud
                Bot Stud
                Botanical Studies
                Springer Berlin Heidelberg (Berlin/Heidelberg )
                1817-406X
                1999-3110
                23 February 2017
                23 February 2017
                December 2017
                : 58
                Affiliations
                [1 ]ISNI 0000 0001 2159 0001, GRID grid.9486.3, Departamento de Botánica, , Instituto de Biología, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, ; Apartado Postal 70-367, 04510 Mexico City, Mexico
                [2 ]Coordinación del Posgrado en Ciencias Biológicas, Circuito de Posgrados Ciudad Universitaria, Coyoacán, 04510 Mexico City, Mexico
                Article
                166
                10.1186/s40529-017-0166-x
                5430588
                28510195
                © The Author(s) 2017

                Open AccessThis article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

                Funding
                Funded by: CONACYT
                Award ID: 288322
                Award Recipient :
                Funded by: UNAM-DGAPA-PAPIIT
                Award ID: IN213916
                Award Recipient :
                Categories
                Original Article
                Custom metadata
                © The Author(s) 2017

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