, Volume 31, Issue 1, pp 125–135 | Cite as

Role of the outer stomatal ledges in the mechanics of guard cell movements

  • Anatoly Pautov
  • Svetlana Bauer
  • Olga Ivanova
  • Elena Krylova
  • Yulia Sapach
  • Galina Gussarova
Original Article


Key Message

The modelling showed that outer ledges prevent wide opening of the stomatal pore and its lifting above leaf epidermis. This stomatal mechanics is combined with xeromorphic features of leaf epidermis.


Methods of light, scanning, and transmission electron microscopy were used to study the stomata of the leaf epidermis in evergreen Acokanthera oblongifolia (Apocynaceae), A. oppositifolia (Apocynaceae), Carissa spectabilis (Apocynaceae), Exbucklandia populnea (Hamamelidaceae), and Trochodendron aralioides (Trochodendraceae). The stomata of their leaf epidermis are located on subsidiary cells, have large outer ledges, and lack inner ledges. To elucidate the role of the ledges, we applied dynamic modelling using the finite-element method. The application of dynamic modelling has shown that outer ledges prevent wide opening of the stomatal pore and their rising above the surface of leaf epidermis. The results of the modelling are supported by the observed deformations in the guard cells of the real stomata. This stomatal mechanics is combined with such stomatal xeromorphic features as thick cuticle, stomatal cavities, and waxy plugs (in A. oblongifolia). All studied species show similar leaf anatomy. It has much in common with the leaf anatomy of species connected in their origin with subhumid Tertiary laurophyllous forests.


Stoma Subsidiary cells Stomatal ledges Outer cavity Stomatal mechanics Adaptation 



The study was carried out using laboratory facilities of the Research Resource Centres for molecular and cell technologies of St Petersburg State University and Komarov Botanical Institute RAS. We thank curators of the Komarov Botanical Gardens Irina Korshunova and Olga Anisimova for providing leaf material of the studied species.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interests

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Botany, Faculty of BiologySt. Petersburg State UniversitySt. PetersburgRussia
  2. 2.Department of Hydroelasticity, Faculty of Mathematics and MechanicsSt. Petersburg State UniversitySt. PetersburgRussia
  3. 3.Natural History Museum, University of OsloOlsoNorway

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