SEM studies on vessels in ferns. XV. Selected rosette epiphytes (Aspleniaceae, Elaphoglossaceae, Vittariaceae)

Edward L. Schneider, Sherwin Carlquist

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6 Scopus citations


Tracheary elements from macerations of roots and rhizomes of Asplenium nidus, Elaphoglossum hirtum, and Vittaria lineata were studied by means of SEM. All of these have perforation plates in tracheary elements of both roots and rhizomes. The perforation plates in roots and rhizomes show greatest development of perforations (perforations a little wider than pits of tracheary elements) in E. hirtum roots and rhizomes and least in V lineata roots and in rhizomes of A. nidus (porose pit membranes in many perforations). The secondary wall framework of perforation plates is little different from that of pitted wall areas in these three species. These rosette epiphytes have a lower degree of specialization of perforation plates that might accommodate rapid flow related to moisture availability fluctuations in comparison to perforation plates in vessels of rhizomatous epiphytic ferns. Generalizations are not warranted at this point, however. Rows of cushion-like structures occur adjacent to angles of the tracheary elements of E. hirtum. This is the first report of these in leptosporangiate ferns; they are known thus far only in a eusporangiate fern, Danaea elliptica (Marattiaceae). Raised frames of wall material around perforations are newly reported for tracheary elements of ferns in E. hirtum.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1013-1020
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Plant Sciences
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Aspleniaceae
  • Elaphoglossaceae
  • Epiphytes
  • Ferns
  • Systematics
  • Tracheary elements
  • Vessels
  • Vittariaceae


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