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Anatomical modifications in Carex brownii and C. brunnea along elevation gradient

Ansa Asghar, Farooq Ahmad, Mansoor Hameed and Muhammad Shahbaz Naeem

The family Cyperaceae consists of more than 98 genera and 5500 species, primarily distributed in different habitats like wetlands and swamps, high elevations, hypersaline soils, deserts and semi-deserts, and water bodies. Carex is the most diverse genus of Cyperaceae that is restricted to cool temperate regions of northern hemisphere. The diversity and distribution of sedges change dramatically along elevation gradient with alterations in anatomical characteristics. The study was carried out to explore the anatomical modifications in naturally grown species of genus Carex along elevation gradient. Two species, C. brownii, and C. brunnea, were collected from three different elevations. All Carex species from various elevations showed variation. Soil physicochemical characteristics like ECe, TSS, SP, Cl−, CO32−, HCO3−, SO42−, Na+, Ca2+, Mg2+, K+ in the habitats of C. brunnea showed strong association with morphological attributes at high elevation. Plant biomass was linked to high elevation in all three species. Anatomical traits like aerenchymatous cavities in C. brunnea increased significantly at the lowest elevation. In leaves, proportion of epidermis was the highest in C. brunnea at medium elevation. Vascular bundles were heavily sclerified in all species, maximally in C. brunnea at low elevation. High proportion of storage parenchymatous tissues was observed in roots of C. brownii and C. brunnea at medium elevation that help them to acclimatize water deficit environmental conditions by storing additional water. The Carex species showed unique adaptation along elevation gradient in their anatomical traits. Modifications at high elevation were high proportion of dermal tissue in root and leaves, stem vascular region and formation of root aerenchymatous cavities. Such modifications guarantee Carex spp. for successful survival in extremely cold environments at high elevations

To Cite this article: Asghar, A., F. Ahmad, M. Hameed and M.S. Naeem. 2023. Anatomical modifications in Carex brownii and C. brunnea along elevation gradient. Pak. J. Bot., 55(5): DOI:  

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