Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

Desiccation tolerant plants in South America

  • 254 Accesses

  • 48 Citations


Numerous Velloziaceae species concentrated in Minas Gerais, Brazil, constitute most of the desiccation tolerant flora of S. America. In the grasses, two Microchloa spp and Tripogon spicatus are desiccation tolerant. Though widespread, they are low growing and appear unimportant. With the exception of Anemia, desiccation tolerant ferns in dry land areas are related to the “resurrection” fern flora reported for N. America. The likely possibility of a desiccation tolerant flora of epiphytic ferns in rain forest areas was not investigated.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Ayensu ES (1974) Leaf anatomy and systematics of New World Velloziaceae. Smithsonian Contrib Botany No 15, 1–125

  2. Dinter K (1919–1920) Pflanzenarten aus Deutsch-Südwestafrika XLIII. Fedde Repert 16:239–361

  3. Gaff DF (1971) Desiccation-tolerant flowering plants in southern Africa. Science 174:1033–1034

  4. Gaff DF (1977) Desiccation tolerant vascular plants of southern Africa. Oecologia (Berlin) 31:95–109

  5. Gaff DF (1986) Desiccation tolerant resurrection grasses from Kenya and West Africa. Oecologia (Berlin) 70:118–120

  6. Gaff DF, Bole PV (1986) Resurrection grasses of India. Oecologia (Berlin) 71:159–160

  7. Gaff DF, Churchill DM (1976) Borya nitida Labill. — an Australian species in the Liliaceae with desiccation-tolerant leaves. Aust J Bot 24:209–224

  8. Gaff DF, Ellis RP (1974) Southern African grasses with foliage that revives after dehydration. Bothalia 11:305–308

  9. Gaff DF, Latz PK (1978) The occurrence of resurrection plants in the Australian flora. Aust J Bot 26:485–492

  10. Gessner F (1956) Die Wasseraufnahme durch Blätter und Samen. Handbuch der Pflanzen-Physiology 3:215–246. Springer, Berlin Heidelberg New York

  11. Hambler DJ (1961) A poikilohydrous poikilochlorophyllous angiosperm from Africa. Nature (London) 191:1415–1416

  12. Meguro M, Joly CA, Bittencourt MM (1977) Water deficit stress and some aspects of physiological behaviour in Xerophyta plicata. Spring. Velloziaceae. Bol Bot Univ S Paulo 5:27–42

  13. Montenegro G, Hoffmann AJ, Aljaro ME, Hoffmann AE (1979) Satureija gilliesii, a poikilohydric shrub from the Chilean mediterranean vegetation. Can J Bot 57:1206–1213

  14. Owoseye JA, Sandford WW (1972) An ecological study of Vellozia schnitzleinia, a drought enduring plant of northern Nigeria. J Ecol 60:807–817

  15. Rawitscher F, Hueck K, Morello J, Paffen KH (1952) (Some observations on the ecology of the Caatinga vegetation) (in Portuguese). Anais da Academia Brasiliera de Ciencias 24:287–301

  16. Walter H (1931) Die Hydratur der Pflanze. Gustay Fischer, Jena

  17. Wittrock VB (1891) Biologiska Ormbunkstudier. Acta Horti Bergiana 1:2–63

Download references

Author information

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Gaff, D.F. Desiccation tolerant plants in South America. Oecologia 74, 133–136 (1987). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00377357

Download citation

Key words

  • Desiccation tolerance
  • Ferns
  • Grass
  • Tripogon
  • Veloziaceae