Epicuticular wax on stomata of damaged silver fir trees (Abies alba Mili.)

Tomislav Bačić, Ljiljana Krstin, Jadranka Roša, Željko Popović

Abstract


Condition of epistomatal wax on the abaxial surface of the current and previous-year needles of damaged silver fir trees (Abies alba Mill.), both from the polluted Risnjak and "clean" Donja Dobra sites in Gorski Kotar region, both influenced by pollutants coming from Europe, during two years, three times a year, were examined with Scanning Electron Microscope. In the course of time the wax tubules on the epistomatal rims of stomata in polluted, but also in "clean" needles surface, become fused and agglomerated rapidly to various extents of morphologically different types of amorphous wax crusts, primarily compact and particulate ones. This process begins very early, especially in polluted Risnjak site, and may be interpreted as a possible result of air pollution. However, the recrystalization, or production of new tubules, also appears relatively quickly in mostly cases. Quantitative estimations indicate a very large total amount of amorphous wax crusts in the current-year needles, and a very high percentage of the same wax in previous-year needles. Amorphous wax crusts cover stomatal pores, as well as the rims, disturbing the normal gas exchange. Statistically there is a signicant tendency of increase in wax degradation in the needles of the polluted site in comparison with those of the unpolluted one, but there is an insignificant wax degradation among the needles of damaged trees within each site. These results confirmed most of the research done in our preliminary report.

Keywords


Pinaceae; Abies alba Mill.; abaxial leaf epidermis; stomata; epicuticular wax changes; fir decline; air pollution

Full Text:

PDF