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Authors: Bartiromo, A.* 
Guignard, G.* 
Barone Lumaga, M. R.* 
Barattolo, L.* 
Chiodini, G.* 
Avino, R.* 
Guerriero, G.* 
Barale, G.* 
Title: Influence of volcanic gases on the epidermis of Pinus halepensis Mill. in Campi Flegrei, Southern Italy: A possible tool for detecting volcanism in present and past floras
Journal: Journal of volcanology and geothermal research 
Series/Report no.: /233–234 (2012)
Publisher: Elsevier Science Limited
Issue Date: 2012
DOI: 10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2012.04.002
Keywords: Campi Flegrei
Volcanic gases
Pinus halepensis
Hydrogen sulphide (H2S)
Subject Classification04. Solid Earth::04.03. Geodesy::04.03.06. Measurements and monitoring 
04. Solid Earth::04.04. Geology::04.04.12. Fluid Geochemistry 
04. Solid Earth::04.08. Volcanology::04.08.01. Gases 
04. Solid Earth::04.08. Volcanology::04.08.07. Instruments and techniques 
Abstract: Cuticle micromorphology together with epidermal and epistomatal wax, in both current- and first-year-old needles of conifer Pinus halepensis (Aleppo pine) trees growing under volcanic gas fumigation was analysed in Pisciarelli area, Campi Flegrei, Southern Italy. As a control, current- and first-year-old needles growing far from volcanic gas emission were also sampled. Using a multidisciplinary approach with SEM, TEM and X-ray, volcanic gases were shown to cause degradation on epicuticular and epistomatal waxes. Significant statistical variations of ultrastructural components of the cuticle, with 30 measurements, including total thickness of the cuticle, and details and proportions of all different layers, and use of confidence interval, revealed a high degree of sensitivity of Aleppo pine to this extreme environment. In the present study, non-significant thickness variations of the cell wall plus cuticle among current- and first-year-old needles of both fumigated and non fumigated trees have been found. However, at the ultrastructural level, significant variations in cell wall and total cuticle thickness, especially within the three zones of B1 fibrillar layer, revealed different equilibria for each of the four types of material. Using energy dispersive X-ray microanalysis, no sulphur was found in either cuticle or epidermal cells, but the presence of H2S in the fumarole gas is suspected to cause indirect and/or direct cuticle alterations of wax structure. Ultrastructural characters of plant cuticles related to emission of volcanic gases during the geological past are also discussed. Among these considerations, an identification key enabling distinction between non fumigated and fumigated materials with 9 characters, provides a good tool detecting the influence of volcanism for extant and fossil plants.
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