Environmental Influence on the Leaf Morphoanatomical Characteristics of Myrcia splendens (Sw.) DC. (Myrtaceae)

Isabela Santiago Carneiro da Costa, Ítalo Antônio Cotta Coutinho, Oriel Herrera Bonilla, Eliseu Marlônio Pereira de Lucena


Myrcia splendens (Sw.) DC. is a native and endemic species of Brazil. Plants can have ecological plasticity due to environmental influences and studies on the ecological anatomy of leaves in the genus Myrcia DC. are scarce. In this sense, the present study aimed to verify the effect of seasonality and luminosity on the leaf morphoanatomical characteristics of Myrcia splendens (Sw.) DC., in order to contribute with information about the species responses to the natural abiotic factors of its occurrence. The botanical material for the study was collected in the São Gonçalo do Amarante Botanic Garden, Ceará, in the rainy and dry seasons, fully expanded leaves exposed to the sun and shade, which were subsequently subjected to laboratory procedures to obtain the paradermal and cross sections of the leaves, in order to verify how Myrcia splendens (Sw.) DC. responds to seasonal variations in the availability of water and light in a coastal environment. As a result, most leaf structures of Myrcia splendens (Sw.) DC. presented greater thicknesses, areas or densities when in the dry season (water deficit) and submitted to intense sunlight, that is, in more stressful environmental conditions. Therefore, it’s concluded that the changes in the anatomy of Myrcia splendens (Sw.) DC. demonstrated the acclimatization of the leaves in response to abiotic factors (water and light), thus contributing to the survival of the species in the Vegetation Complex of the Coastal Zone of Ceará.


Ecological anatomy; season; lightness; plasticity; Vegetation Complex of the Coastal Zone


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