Venation studies of some species in the genus Ficus Linn. in Southwestern Nigeria
The present study investigates the venation of ten species of the genus Ficus collected from Obafemi Awolowo University Ile-Ife (latitude 7° 31' 14.7612'' N and longitude 4° 31' 49.1340'' E) and the NACGRAB, Ibadan, Nigeria (latitude 7°23¢4²N and longitude 3°50¢31²E). The leaf venations of the species were carried out using standard methods. All photomicrographs of the features were taken with the aid of Amscope digital camera mounted on a celesterone binocular microscope. All data were subjected of analysis of variance using SAS software. The result revealed the Leaf venation pattern based on areole shape, length and width, veinlets ending and trichomes. The leaf venation patterns of the species show that they are significant in identifying and delimiting studied species within the genus with respect to qualitative and quantitative data. Species specific variation were recorded for the venation patterns as areole shape, length and width, veinlets ending and trichomes and these features are either genetically fixed or as a result of environmental extremes. Presence of cystolith cells, trichomes and no veinlets ending is diagnostic of Ficus mucuso. The study concluded that venation patterns are therefore significant in delimitation of species in the genus Ficus and these characters can be employed as additional information in the existing taxonomical keys of the genus.
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