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Taxonomic Implication of Conducting Elements in the Acrocarpous Mosses


Present study deals with the structure and development of conducting elements in the nine orders of acrocarpous mosses. The significance of conducting tissues in mosses in relation to their habitat conditions, growth forms and leaf cell patterns has been discussed. Features of cells in different portions of the stem and the laminal cell patterns and costa are taken into consideration. Although water-conducting cells are unspecialized in mosses, yet the study shows that they seem to play a vital role in the conduction and provide additional criteria for the distinction of taxa. Four categories have been determined as (i) Acrocarpous mosses with a distinct thick-walled conducting strand (6-7 layered) as hydrome which is surrounded by patches of leptoids. Cortex consists of thick walled cells (6-10 layered). Costa has stereidal cells and well developed conducting elements in leaf, example Polytrichum (ii) Acrocarps with thick-walled, narrow, elongated conducting strand (4-5 layered), cells angular in the cortex (6-8 layered). Leaf cells are rectangular, irregular and porous with incrassate walls, example Dicranum (iii) Acrocarps with conducting tissue (2-5 layered) stereidal, thick walled or thin walled varying in the course of development. Leaf cells are mutipapillate, rounded-quadrate, costa is present, examples Hyophila, Philonotis and (iv) Epiphytic pleurocarps with conducting cells rudimentary, thickened, scattered (2-4 layers) and parenchymatous, cortical cells (2-3 layered) thick walled. Leaf cells are small, rounded or linear and papillate, costa may be present or absent, example Leucodon. The study would constitute a formidable task, especially if intraspecific structural variability is considered. It serves a model system in the eco-physiological aspects.


Ectohydric, Endohydric, External Conduction, Leaf Cell Pattern, Stereidal Cells.



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