MULTIVARIATE ANALYSIS OF THE STEM ANATOMICAL CHARACTERS OF TERMINALIA L. (COMBRETACEAE) IN EGYPT
Keywords:Combretaceae, Paratracheal axial parenchyma, Stem anatomy; Terminalia; Two-way clustering analysis.
A comparative investigation of the anatomical characters through a microscopical examination of the prepared transverse sections of the stem was carried out. Six plates with 32 photomicrographs were provided to convincingly show the considerable variations of anatomical characters within the nine examined species. The matrix of 18 anatomical characters which included nine quantitative and nine qualitative was applied for the clustering analysis (CA) followed by the principal component analysis (PCA) using the Multivariate Analysis of Ecological Data, PC-ORD.
The results exhibited significant variations among the species resulting in the construction of an artificial key; this key accurately represents a sufficient tool to display the considerable variation among the recognized species prominently. The distinction between Terminalia L., 1767 species based on significant variations in the elements of stem anatomy; axial parenchyma and ray characteristics were considered as important parameters, while vessel diameter, fiber wall thickness, etc. were considered minor characters to differentiate between the studied species. The potential usefulness of the differentiation of these species properly maintains a profound efficiency in pharmaceutical and traditional medicine.