Environmental Studies Program

 

Date of this Version

Fall 10-2008

Abstract

The goal of this study was to look at variations in stomatal traits of tree species on soils with different moisture contents and fertility at Lambir Hills National Park. Stomates are important structures on the surface of leaves that mediate conduction of moisture and gassesin and out of the leaf. If stomatalt raits are important for regulation, then there should be variation in stomatal traits in regards to their soil specialization. The 14 Borneant ree speciess ampledi ncluded6 sandyl oam specialists6, clay specialistsa nd 2 generalistsfo und growing with equald istributionso n both sandyl oam and clay. Confocal microscopy was used to capture images of the stomates. Measurements included inner pore width, inner pore length, and outer pore length along with density counts. Thesem easurementws ere then usedt o determinet he stomatali ndex. These Borneant ree speciesd id not alwaysr espondc onsistentlyt o variationi n soil moisture with similar shifts in stomatal traits. There was also little phenotypic plasticity in stomatal traits with respect to soil type. The results of this study may lead to the idea that stomates may not be the only factor that is important for water regulation of these Bornean tree species and spark further investigation into other mechanisms of water conservation that help determine the relative importance of the stomatal index.