Economically important species of Asteraceae: An overview of leaf epidermal micro-morphology with respect to water availability


  • Isaak Kolawole Agbede Institute of Ecology and Environmental Studies, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria
  • Opeyemi Philips Akinsulire Department of Botany, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria
  • Yemi Elizabeth Faboyo Institute of Ecology and Environmental Studies, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria
  • Akinwumi Johnson Akinloye Department of Botany, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria



Aspilia africana, Chromolaena odorata, Seasonal variations, Stomata, Stomatal conductance, Vernonia amygdalina, Water stress


This paper reports the result of a study undertaken with a view to documenting responses of leaf epidermal parameters of three economically important species of the family Asteraceae: Aspilia africana, Chromolaena odorata and Vernonia amygdalina from Nigeria to seasonal water stress. Obtained quantitative data showed a significant decrease (p < 0.05) in stomata density and index on the abaxial surface in Chromolaena odorata in dry conditions. The increased stomata densities and indices on the adaxial surfaces in Aspilia africana and Vernonia amygdalina in the wet season suggest that CO2 was more taken up. The reduction in stomata size (on both leaf surfaces in the three taxa) in the dry season indicated species' adaptations to dry conditions and reduction in stomatal conductance. Turgescent guard cell in the three species in the wet season indicated stomatal opening, which could, though, be a hormonal response to water availability since transpiration needed to be activated. The ability of Aspilia africana to reduce water loss and defend against herbivores greatly increased in plants that developed in dry conditions by possessing more multicellular trichomes in comparison to wet conditions, while in Vernonia amygdalina, the number increased during the wet season. Water stress had little or no effect on the micro-morphology of anticlinal walls and the shapes and arrangements of the epidermal cells in the three species. This study revealed that investigations into leaf epidermal micro-morphology might be a useful tool to elucidate the multiple mechanisms underlying leaf epidermal structure function in response to water availability.


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Original Research Paper

How to Cite

Agbede, I. K., Philips Akinsulire, O., Faboyo, Y. E., & Johnson Akinloye, A. (2023). Economically important species of Asteraceae: An overview of leaf epidermal micro-morphology with respect to water availability. Acta Biologica Slovenica, 66(1), 13-24.

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