African Journal of Range and Forage Science

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Variability in leaf surface features and water efficiency utilisation in C3 and C4 form of Alloteropsis semialata (R. Br.) Hitchc.

Frean M., Barrett D., Cresswell C.F.


Alloteropsis semialata (R. Br.) Hitchc. Occupies a unique position both taxonomically and physiologically in the Gramineae in that C3 and C4 photosynthetic and anatomical forms exist within a single taxonomic species. Both forms have been collected from a single ecological niche in the Transvaal highveld. This study shows further morphological and anatomical differences between the two forms with respect to stomatal size, and frequency of distribution, as well as differing epidermal cell characteristics. In addition physiological differences between the two forms are established with regard to photosynthetic rates, transpiration rates, and boundary layer and stomatal resistances. The C4 form was found to be more efficient with respect to water utilization efficiency.

Keywords: alloteropsis semialata; botany; characteristics; distribution; grasses; leaves; photosynthetic rate; plant physiology; south africa; stomatal resistance; transpiration rate; transvaal highveld; water use efficiency; water utilization

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