Scanning Electron Microscopy and Light Microscopy of Leaves

Mature leaves were dissected, fixed in FAA (ethanol, glacial acetic acid, and formaldehyde), dehydrated in ethanol series, and dried in carbon dioxide using a Denton DCP-1 critical point drying apparatus. Leaves were mounted on stubs, coated with 25 nm gold palladium using a Hummer II Sputter Coater, and examined using a Cambridge S-260 scanning electron microscope. Thicknesses of total leaf, upper and lower epidermis, mesophyll, and sponge tissues were measured with a light microscope equipped with a micrometer. The leaf thicknesses were monitored from April to October 2000 for all 35 species.

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