Abstract
LEAF TRAIT ANALYSIS OF FIVE ENDANGERED PLANT SPECIES OF WESTERN GHATS

Jils Thankachan*, Dr. M. Kannan1 and Sr. Sindhu K. K.

ABSTRACT

Recent studies have revealed variation of leaf traits across various plant life-forms on a global scale. This study aims to analyze and compare the leaf-trait strategies of selected RET (Rare Endangered and Threatened) plant species of Western Ghats. The present study was carried out in an experimental plot established in KFRI Nilambur, a tropical moist deciduous site on the Nilgiri biosphere of India. We selected five RET plant species to analyze and compare their leaf-trait strategies. For each species, we collected 30 healthy leaves from at least five individuals. The collected leaf samples were analyzed for various leaf functional traits using standard protocol. Leaf area was analyzed using Image J (IJ) software. Leaf thickness was measured using digital screw-gauze. The study also checks whether these five species differ in their anatomical traits. Cluster analysis was made among them to check for relationship between different leaf traits.

Keywords: Anatomical traits, leaf-lamina area, leaf nitrogen, leaf thickness, leaf tissue density, specific leaf area.


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