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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle

Distribution of Elements along the Rachis of Cycas micronesica Leaves: A Cautionary Note for Sampling Design

College of Natural and Applied Sciences, University of Guam, Mangilao, GU 96923, USA
Cooperative Research and Extension, College of Micronesia-FSM, Yap Campus, Yap 96943, Federated States of Micronesia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Horticulturae 2019, 5(2), 33;
Received: 11 March 2019 / Revised: 18 April 2019 / Accepted: 22 April 2019 / Published: 28 April 2019
PDF [824 KB, uploaded 28 April 2019]


Cycas micronesica K.D. Hill trees on the island of Yap were used to determine the influence of position along the leaf rachis on macro- and micro-nutrient concentrations and how leaf age affected the results. The outcomes revealed improvements to sampling protocols for future cycad leaf research. The concentration of every element except carbon and copper was influenced by leaflet position along the rachis. Most elements exhibited similar patterns for the oldest and youngest leaves on a tree, but the influence of position along the rachis for nitrogen, phosphorus, calcium, zinc, and boron was highly contrasting for old versus young leaves. The elements with the greatest variability along the rachis were potassium, phosphorus, manganese, and zinc, with the difference in basal and terminal leaflets as great as four-fold. Sampling leaflets at one position on a cycad leaf may generate inaccurate elemental concentration results for most essential nutrients other than carbon and copper. We have added position of sampled leaflets within leaves as a mandatory component of what is recorded and reported for future cycad leaf tissue analyses. Leaflets that span the full length of the rachis should be included in cycad leaf samples that are collected for tissue analysis. View Full-Text
Keywords: cycad; leaf age; nutrient mobility; tissue sampling cycad; leaf age; nutrient mobility; tissue sampling

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Marler, T.E.; Krishnapillai, M.V. Distribution of Elements along the Rachis of Cycas micronesica Leaves: A Cautionary Note for Sampling Design. Horticulturae 2019, 5, 33.

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