The formation of deeply dissected and compound leaves at the bases of branches, their homology between different groups of mosses, and probable factors responsible for their development are considered. Previous authors interpret such leaves in a different ways and in most cases describe them as special morphological structures named pseudoparaphyllia. It is shown, however, that this term has been applied both to whole leaves and to separate leaf parts. Among the patterns of leaf formation deviating from the basic type, a special place belongs to the Hampeella variant, where deeply dissected and compound leaves are formed due to the delayed development of branch primordia. The families representing this variant occupy a basal position in the phylogenetic tree of pleurocarpous mosses. The Leucodon variant, where splitting of leaves into lobes is apparently explained by strong stem extension, is not specific for any definite phylogenetic group and appears in different families. The Hypnum variant is also not associated with certain phylogenetic lineages, but it provides an example of more profound specialization.
Russian Journal of Developmental Biology – Springer Journals
Published: May 14, 2012
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