Comparative Foliar Anatomical And Morphological Studies of Nephrolepis Biserrata (Swartz) Scott And N. Undulata ( Swartz) J.SM. in Nigeria
The foliar anatomy and morphology of Nephrolepis biserrata and Nephrolepis undulata were investigated. The aim of which is to elucidate their taxonomic knowledge with the use of both foliar anatomical and morphological characteristics that exist between them. The anatomical studies carried out include shape and size of the epidermal cell, venation patterns, stomata type and distribution. One way analysis of variance was used to show whether the two taxa are significantly different. The results of anatomical similarities in the adaxial surfaces of their leaflets were sinuous, anticlinal walls, absence of stomata and trichome, epidennal cells are irregular in shape and variable in sizes. On their abaxial surfaces, epidermal cells are irregular in shapes and variable in sizes, stomata present, predominantly diacytic and anomocytic types with elliptic shapes, thin and wavy anticlinal wall. Anatomical differences include length and width of epidermal cells, absence or presence and distribution of crystal sands, thickness of anticlinal walls on the adaxial surfaces, stomata Index and frequency, length and breadth of guard cell and guard cell area. The venation patterns showed that the mid-rib is sheathed with parenchyma cells and trichome types were observed in N. biserrata but absent in N. undulata. The distinguishing characters of the two taxa studied are of taxonomic value and can be used to identify and delimit each species and thus widen the scope of their taxonomic knowledge.