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Abstract Detail

Systematics Section/ASPT

Vargas, Oscar [1], Simpson, Beryl [1].

How are sclerophyllous shrubs adapted to the páramos? anatomical evidence from Diplostephium (Asteraceae, Astereae).

Páramos are neotropical high mountain ecosystems found above the tree line at 3000 m. The páramo ecosystem is one of most diverse habitats of the world. As a result of their geological history, climatic record, and complex topography, páramos plant endemism is remarkable accounting for 60% at the species level. The landscape of the páramos is dominated by grasses, but an array of life plant forms have adapted to these habitats; some of these include cushion plants, rosettes, caulirosettes, sclerophyllous shrubs etc. Despite the fact that páramos are wet ecosystems, the extreme physiological conditions (e.g. daily freeze/thaw cycle, rapid changes in climate conditions, high radiation) make the páramo a physiologically dry ecosystem. In order to investigate the adaptions of the sclerophyllous shrubs to the páramo ecosystem, the anatomy of stems and leaves from forest and páramo species of Diplostephium was studied. Anatomical comparisons between forest and páramo species show significant differences between the two types, with the páramo species showing adaptions associated with high xerophytism.

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Related Links:
Diplostephium website

1 - University of Texas at Austin, Section of Integrative Biology and the Plant Resources Center, The University of Texas, 205 W 24th St. Stop CO930, Austin, TX, 78712, USA


Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Sections
Session: 13
Location: Rosedown/Riverside Hilton
Date: Monday, July 29th, 2013
Time: 2:15 PM
Number: 13004
Abstract ID:587
Candidate for Awards:George R. Cooley Award

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