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Adaptation of Grasses to Water Stress-Leaf Rolling and Stomate Distribution

R. E. Redmann
Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden
Vol. 72, No. 4 (1985), pp. 833-842
DOI: 10.2307/2399225
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2399225
Page Count: 10
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Adaptation of Grasses to Water Stress-Leaf Rolling and Stomate Distribution
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Abstract

Leaf dimension, degree of leaf rolling or folding, and stomatal densities on adaxial and abaxial leaf surfaces were measured on herbarium specimens of 39 grass species from a range of dry to wet habitats in western Canada. Stomata were counted on vinyl leaf impressions taken from the herbarium specimens. Representative surfaces also were examined using scanning electron microscopy. All species from dry habitats had narrow rolled or folded leaves (4 mm or less). The proportion of stomata on the abaxial surface of species from dry habitats ranged from 0 to 65%, but 56% of the species were strongly amphistomatous. The results were compatible with a conceptual model predicting that rolling, amphistomatous leaves would be selected for habitats in which water supply and demand fluctuate widely on seasonal or diurnal time scales.

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