A preliminary study of the achene epidermis of certain Carex (Cyperaceae) using scanning electron microscopy

TitleA preliminary study of the achene epidermis of certain Carex (Cyperaceae) using scanning electron microscopy
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1975
AuthorsWalter KS
JournalMichigan Botanist
Volume14
Pagination67-72
KeywordsTAXONOMY
Abstract

Keeping in mind the problems outlined under Results as well as the problems associated with any system of one-character taxonomy, the SEM photographs reveal several things: 1) Carex achene epidermis is well-suited for SEM study; there is variation between species, and this variation may indeed prove taxonomically useful. 2) Ultrasonic cleaning does remove outer walls of the epidermal cells of the genus Carex, a genus for which there are no previously published comparative achene studies using SEM. 3) Based on the shape of the bodies, Carex lurida seems best to fit in the group Vesicariae since it possesses long pointed bodies very similar in shape to those of C. tuckermanii, while C. schweinitzii (no bodies visible) best fits in the Pseudo-Cypereae. It is interesting to note two things: a) The two taxa in question, C. schweinitzii and C. lurida, appear at opposite extremes of the series as shown in Table II (one having no bodies and the other having long pointed bodies), yet they are the very taxa which one might have expected to be intermediate, based on the diverse treatments of authors. b) The SEM data correlate perfectly with the classification of Mackenzie. The other schemes as listed in Table I (except that of Hermann, who followed Mackenzie) are at variance with the SEM data with respect to one taxon--either C. schweinitzii or C. lurida.