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Mesophyll thickness and sclerophylly among Calotropis procera morphotypes reveal water-saved adaptation to environments

  • Marcelo F. PompelliEmail author
  • Keila R. Mendes
  • Marcio V. Ramos
  • José N. B. Santos
  • Diaa T. A. Youssef
  • Jaqueline D. Pereira
  • Laurício Endres
  • Alfredo Jarma-Orozco
  • Rodolfo Solano-Gomes
  • Betty Jarma-Arroyo
  • André L. J. Silva
  • Marcos A. Santos
  • Werner C. Antunes
Article
  • 15 Downloads

Abstract

Calotropis procera (Aiton) Dryand (Apocynaceae) is a native species in tropical and subtropical Africa and Asia. However, due to its fast growing and drought-tolerant, it has become an invasive species when it was introduced into Central and South America, as well as the Caribbean Islands. Currently, C. procera displays a wide distribution in the world. Invasiveness is important, in particular, because many invasive species exert a high reproductive pressure on the invaded communities or are highly productive in their new distributed areas. It has been suggested that a very deep root system and a high capacity to reduce stomatal conductance during water shortage could allow this species to maintain the water status required for a normal function. However, the true mechanism behind the successful distribution of C. procera across wet and dry environments is still unknown. C. procera leaves were collected from 12 natural populations in Brazil, Colombia and Mexico, ranging from wet to dry environments during 2014–2015. Many traits of morphology and anatomy from these distinct morphotypes were evaluated. We found that C. procera leaves had a considerable capacity to adjust their morphological, anatomical and physiological traits to different environments. The magnitude of acclimation responses, i.e., plasticity, had been hypothesized to reflect the specialized adaptation of plant species to a particular environment. However, allometric models for leaf area (LA) estimation cannot be grouped as a single model. Leaves are narrower and thicker with low amounts of air spaces inside the leaf parenchyma in wet environments, while they are broader and thinner with a small number of palisade cell layers in dry environments. Based on these, we argue that broader and thinner leaves of C. procera dissipate incident energy at the expense of a higher rate of transpiration to survive in environments in which water is the most limiting factor and to compete in favorable wet environments.

Keywords

invasive plant energy budget leaf anatomy morphological trait specific leaf area 

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Notes

Acknowledgements

The research were funded by the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq; 470476/2011-7), the Foundation for Science and Technology of Pernambuco, Brazil (APQ-0077-5.01/09, DCR-0034-2.03/13) and the scholarship granted to the first author. The authors would also like to thank Dr. Jarcilene S ALMEIDA-CORTEZ (Department of Botany, Federal University of Pernambuco, Brazil) for his help with the field collections and Dr. Carlos A SCAPIM (Department of Agronomy, Maringá State University, Brazil) for his assistance on heritability. In addition, the authors extend special thanks to Dr. Hendrik POORTER (Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH, Plant Sciences, Jülich, Germany) and Dr. Sidnei M THOMAZ (Department of Biology, Maringá State University, Brazil) for their kind revisions of this manuscript.

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Copyright information

© Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Science Press and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marcelo F. Pompelli
    • 1
    Email author
  • Keila R. Mendes
    • 1
  • Marcio V. Ramos
    • 2
  • José N. B. Santos
    • 1
  • Diaa T. A. Youssef
    • 3
  • Jaqueline D. Pereira
    • 4
  • Laurício Endres
    • 5
  • Alfredo Jarma-Orozco
    • 6
  • Rodolfo Solano-Gomes
    • 7
  • Betty Jarma-Arroyo
    • 6
  • André L. J. Silva
    • 5
  • Marcos A. Santos
    • 1
  • Werner C. Antunes
    • 8
  1. 1.Plant Physiology Laboratory, Department of BotanyFederal University of PernambucoRecifeBrazil
  2. 2.Department of Biochemistry and Molecular BiologyFederal University of CearáFortalezaBrazil
  3. 3.Department of Natural Products, Faculty of PharmacyKing Abdulaziz UniversityJeddahSaudi Arabia
  4. 4.Institute of BotanyFederal University of ViçosaRio ParanaibaBrazil
  5. 5.Plant Ecophysiology LaboratoryFederal University of AlagoasMaceioBrazil
  6. 6.Faculty of Agricultural ScienceUniversity of CórdobaMonteríaColombia
  7. 7.Instituto Politécnico NacionalResearch Interdisciplinary Center for Integrated Rural DevelopmentSanta Cruz Xoxocotlan, OaxacaMexico
  8. 8.Department of BiologyUniversity of MaringáMaringáBrazil

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