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tasmanian liverworts - lepidolaenaceae

lepidolaena t485

Lepidolaena T485 habit
1. Lepidolaena T485 habit (with Metzgeria sp.)

 

This is a minute eiphyte growing on Eucryphia lucida (Tasmanian leatherwood) in the Tarkine forests. Shoots including leaves are around 1.5mm wide. Branching is distant and 2-pinnate.

Just about all the stem underleaves had eroded or broken off when detached from substrate but a few branch underleaves were visible (pix 6, 7 & 8). A few branch underleaves were leafy but the rest had morphed into lobules. They do not observe textbook description¹ and range from 1-4 lobules per underleaf (pix 9 has 3 underleaf lobules in line with stem).
There was not a lot of material so underleaf in pix 8 is that of one with a missing lobe.

Leaf cells have prominent trigones with some unusual thickening along the walls and have 12-18 (or more) homogenous elongated oil bodies (pix 4).

The Checklist² shows 4 Lepidolaena for Tasmania: L. brachyclada, L. clavigera, L. reticulata, and L. taylorii. We have ascertained from Hodgson's paper³ that our specimen is not amongst the last 3 mentioned.

Lepidolaena shoot
2. shoot
leaf
3. leaf
leaf cells
4. leaf cells
leaf lobule
5. leaf lobule
branch underleaf 1
6. first branch underleaf 1
branch underleaf 2
7. first branch underleaf 2
branch underleaf 2
8. branch underleaf
leaf lobule
9. underleaf lobules
 

 

References
¹Engel, J.J. & Glenny, D., A Flora of the Liverworts and Hornworts of New Zealand, Vol 1, p. 91. ISBN 978-1-930723-67-2
²McCarthy, P.M., Checklist of Australian liverworts and hornworts, 2006
³Hodgson, E.A., A Review of New Zealand Species of the Genus Lepidolaena, Vol 87, 1959, Transactions and Proceedings of the Royal Society of New Zealand 1868-1961

 

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