Authors: ZSUZSA LISZTES_SZABO, Szilvia Kovács, ÁKOS PETÖ
Abstract: Phytoliths in Poa pratensis L. (Poaceae) leaf blades and sheaths are described in this study. The role of plant opal particles-known as phytoliths-is considerable in taxonomical studies, and their long-term preservation in sediments makes them a useful tool in the reconstruction of ancient plant communities and plant-human interactions. All together, 2244 phytoliths were counted and analyzed in 25 plant samples (5 shoots of 5 specimens and approximately 500-600 phytoliths per specimen). The biogenic silica content of P. pratensis leaves was determined at 2.61%, and 27 morphotypes have been described using the International Code for Phytolith Nomenclature. Two morphotypes are described for the first time in this study. Long cells (elongate psilate and sinuate morphotypes) and short cells (rondel-trapeziform elongated and rounded morphotypes) are frequently present in this species. Differences in morphotype frequency and significant differences in a few simple morphometric data (length, width, height) of long cells and short cells were found among specimens, which suggests that these features vary depending on environmental factors and the maturity of leaf tissues.
Keywords: Biogenic silica, epidermis, phytolith, Poa pratensis
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