- • Hyperaccumulation by plants is a rare phenomenon that has potential practical benefits. The majority of manganese (Mn) hyperaccumulators discovered to date occur in New Caledonia, and little is known about their ecophysiology. This study reports on natural populations of one such species, the endemic shrub Maytenus founieri.
- • Mean foliar Mn concentrations of two populations growing on ultramafic substrates with varying soil pHs were obtained. Leaf anatomies were examined by light microscopy, while the spatial distributions of foliar Mn in both populations were examined by qualitative scanning electron microscopy/energy dispersive spectroscopy (SEM/EDS).
- • Plants growing on two different substrates were found to have very different mean dry weight (DW) foliar Mn concentrations. Light microscopy showed that the leaves had very distinct thick dermal structures, consisting of multiple layers of large cells in the hypodermis. In vivo X-ray microprobe analyses revealed that, in both populations, Mn sequestration occurred primarily in these dermal tissues.
- • The finding here that foliar Mn is most highly localized in the nonphotosynthetic tissues of M. founieri contrasts with results from similar studies on other woody species that accumulate high Mn concentrations in their shoots.