Leaf Epidermis Traits as Tools to Identify Solidago L. Taxa in Poland
We used via light and scanning electron microscopy to study the leaf epidermis of five Solidago taxa from south-western Poland. Light microscopy was employed to describe the epidermal surface, including stomatal types, the shape of epidermal cell walls, stomatal density, the distribution of stomata between the abaxial and adaxial epidermis, and stomatal guard cell length. From these observations we calculated the stomatal index (SI) and stomatal ratio (SR) as the basis for defining the type of leaf. From LM of transverse sections of leaf we described mesophyll structure, the presence of secretory canals, adaxial and abaxial epidermis thickness, and leaf thickness. We examined cuticular ornamentation, trichome features and epicuticular secretions by SEM. As determined by discriminatory analysis, the most important traits distinguishing these taxa were the stomatal index of the adaxial epidermis, leaf thickness, features of the walls of epidermal cells, and the presence and features of trichomes. On the basis of observations and measurements we created a key for distinguishing Solidago taxa.