Students measure leaf traits at Meise

summer internships...

During July and August, three students measured leaf weight and imaged leaf in the Herbarium of the Botanic Garden Meise. The images will be used to measure traits such as leaf area, leaf area, stomatal density and stomatal size. These traits are known to be closely related to species’ life cycle strategy, habitat and climate. Selection of species for measurement was based on region of origin (Yangambi and Luki), abundance (dominant species) and life form (trees). Five specimens per species and region of origin were selected For each specimen five leaves were measured (Fig. 1). Stomatal density will be measured on three sites per leaf. During one month, these three students managed to determine surface area and leaf weight for a total of 240 specimens of 48 tropical tree species (Fig. 2). Pictures for stomata counts were taken for 41 specimens. The public will be asked to help us with stomatal counts by a crowdsourcing initiative.

Fig 1. - Leaf scans of Prioria oxyphylla
Fig 2. - Student making pictures of stomata of Coffea canephora