Moderator: MWP admin
Author: Stephan Mifsud
Abstract:This study compared differences between the closely related Elatine macropoda Gussone and Elatine gussonei (Sommier) Brullo, Lanfranco, Pavone & Ronsisvalle as published in literature to differences between the two species as observed in the wild and in vitro. Literature indicated that main characteristics of E. gussonei that distinguish it from E. macropoda are its pink flowers, petal size equal to sepal’s and its strongly curved seed. However observations in the field showed that environmental conditions as well as flowering stage significantly change the appearance of the flowers of both species. Mean seed curvature was shown to be significantly different between the species and unaffected by environmental factors. However the range of seed curvature in both species is wide and overlaps each other, thus also making seed curvature an unreliable diagnostic feature.
The most important characteristic, discovered during the course of this study, which easily differentiates the two species is the reticulation of the seed testa. The pit shape in E. gussonei is ~regular hexagonal with 15±3 pits per row while in E. macropoda the pit shape is ~long-hexagonal with 21±3 pits/row. This important difference substantiates the uniqueness of E. gussonei and emphasizes the necessity for the conservation of its highly vulnerable habitat in the Maltese islands.
- A Comparitive study between Elatine gussonei.pdf
- Elatine Gussonei vs E Macropoda
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