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Taxonomic studies of Cyperaceae (Sedges) in Swat Pakistan: using a multivariate approach

Nasar Ali, Zahid Ullah, Ahmad Ali, Bushra, Zaheer Abbas and Aftab Ahmad Khan

Cyperaceae (sedges) is the seventh largest flowering plant family, forming the dominant component of wetland flora. Taxonomically sedges are a difficult group, due to morphological simplicity, hybridization, polyploidy and species richness. Cyperaceae in district Swat - Pakistan have not been explored previously. The current study revealed 58 species of Cyperaceae belonging to 13 genera. The genus Carex was the largest having 15 species. Plant collections were carried out in the entire district from 2014 to 2016 particularly in typical habitats of sedges like wetland, marshes, rice field, along streams and rivers and alpine meadows. Using the collected specimens 84 phenotypic characters were studied using stereomicroscope. Based on these characters morphometric tree was inferred in Minitab16 and SPSS. Our results are in congruence with most phylogenetic studies of the family based on molecular data. In the present study leaf epidermal features of 35 species were observed using light microscopy. The overall results showed that size of stomata, shape of subsidiary cells, shape and wall sinuosity of long cells, presence/absence of intercostal short cells, presence/absence of silica bodies, presence/absence of bulliform cells and presence/absence of papillae represent reliable taxonomic characters. Palynological characters of 35 species were observed under LM. The study showed that pollen in Cyperaceae were pseudomonads. Pollen shapes were obovoidal, triangular or apple shaped with single aperture or four aperturate to polyporate. Based on P/E ratio most of the pollen were oblate-spheroidal to prolate spheroidal, subprolate, spheroidal and suboblate. Equatorial diameter ranged from 16 µm to 37µm while polar axis length ranged from 18.7 µm to 37.3 µm. Exine thickness, polar axis length and sexine sculpturing were found useful diagnostic features. Pollen characters in the family were in most cases uniform and showed variation at the level of subgenus and above. In conclusion systematic studies based multivariate approaches provide a clearer feature of relationship among the taxa studied

To Cite this article: Ali, N., Z. Ullah, A. Ali, B. Bibi, Z. Abbas and A.A. Khan. 2024. Taxonomic studies of Cyperaceae (Sedges) in Swat Pakistan: using a multivariate approach. Pak. J. Bot., 56(4): DOI:  

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