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Abstract Detail

Ecological Section

Ayodele , Muyiwa Segun [1], Aworinde, D. O. [1], Ilori, O. J. [2].

Variations in Frond-sheath Fibers and Moisture Collection Strategies among three West African Palms.

Three palms namely: Cocos nucifera L. (Coconut palm),Elaeis guineensis Jacq. (Oil palm) and Phoenix dactylifera L. (Date palm) were investigated for characteristic features of leaf fibers and development orientation along tree trunk. Fibers were anatomically examined by macerating primordial leaf sheath (net-like structure) for the nature offibers, the pits;taking dimensions (length and width) of the fibers in µm. Fiber sheaths pictures and photomicrographs of fiber characteristics are presented for detail comparison. Fiber characteristic simplications are correlated with the moisture availability regimes for the different plants in their ecological habitats. Leaf fibers in Cocosnucifera are woven into a sheet,wrapped around the base of each frond; neatly tucked into the inner developing frond. The sheath enlarges as the tree trunk increases in height. Elaeis guineensis has less conspicuous woven sheath, only noticeable in younger fronds. Older fronds have fiber sheaths gradually transformed into a pile stuffing each frond axils. In Phoenix dactylifera,conspicuous strands of crunchy fibers are alternately woven around each frond base along the tree trunk forming a continuous cushion of fibers on the trunk. Anatomical study results show that in the three species, fibers are pointed at both ends and all the walls have bothered pits except in oil palm which is half bordered. Fibers are longest in Date palm (974±4 µm)and shortest in Coconut palm(702±3µm). Ecological implications of observations: high frequency of long fiber is indicative of high conductive safety to avoid embolism. Increase in fiber width suggests an increased conductive efficiency. Date palm usually found in the dry ecological habitat (except those used for aesthetics) combines the attribute of good conductive efficiency fibers with crunchy fiber strands pad on frond axils. Some adventitious roots were noted situated underneath each frond base pad. Thus, there is ample provision for the absorption of any available moisture for conservation by the fiber pads which in turn would make such available for the hidden roots underneath the frond pads. This scenario is absent in coconut whose habitat is usually along the moisture laden beach terrain. The Oil palm is intermediate in these features suggestive of its ability to colonize habitats between the sea and the dry savanna areas

Broader Impacts:

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1 - Biological Sciences Department, University of Agriculture, Abeokuta.
2 - Biology Department, Adeyemi College of Education, Ondo

leaf fibers

Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Sections
Session: 34
Location: Portland Room/Chase Park Plaza
Date: Tuesday, July 12th, 2011
Time: 2:45 PM
Number: 34006
Abstract ID:413

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