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Fiction of bullate leaves

  • Subject: Fiction of bullate leaves
  • From: Corey W <cewickliffe@gmail.com>
  • Date: Wed, 22 Jun 2016 09:04:16 -0400

Hello aroiders,

I'm hoping this scientifically savvy group can help me with a topic I've been pondering but cannot seem to find references for. "Bullate" textured leaves seem to occur in a huge range of tropicals (in addition to a number of Aroids, I'm seeing it in Gesneriads, Begonia, Hoffmannia, Piper, Peperomia, etc.). Are they all bullate for the same reasons??

High humidity and increasing air exchange is one simple explanation I've come across a lot (cloud forest species like Anthurium clidemoides for example) and understory plants in consistent humidity seen to fit that (Hoffmannia bullata and some Gesneriads of the Gasteranthus and Nautilocalyx genera), but then the highly bullate Gesneriad Sinningia bullata is confusing... extremely bullate, but in succulent conditions of full sun and wildly swinging temps (which likely is why underneath the leaves looks like a sheep). Even it's highly bullate hybrids with no hairy under leaves do fine in low humidity. Is this a case of adaptation to distribute light on a way to not cook the leaves?

I also read a snippet about bullate possibly being a way to capture more light on low light situations (makes particularly good sense in dark leaved understory plants), but then they full sun Sinningia is confusing again - unless it's using the same idea but different angles to scatter light a different way.

I'd like to dive deeper into this kind of leaf functionally but can't find good resources. Is there a book on plant morphology or function of structures I should be reading?


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