Xerophytic Characteristics of Tectona
philippinensis Benth. & Hook. f.

Jonathan O. Hernandez1, Pastor L. Malabrigo Jr.2a, Marilyn O. Quimado2b,
Lerma SJ.  Maldia3, and Edwino S. Fernando2c

1College of Forestry and Natural Resources,
University of
the Philippines Los Baños, College Laguna
2a,2b,2c,3 Department of Forest Biological Sciences, College of Forestry and Natural
Resources, University of the Philippines Los Baños, College, Laguna

*Corresponding author: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Tectona philippinensis Benth. & Hook.f. is one of only three species in the genus Tectona (Lamiaceae) restricted to the Asian tropics.  It is endemic to Ilin Island and to Batangas Province on Luzon Island, Philippines and is regarded as a critically endangered species.  While role of xerophytic characteristics of plants are very important for their survival and growth under various environmental pressures, such characteristics in native tree species remain unclear.  In this study, the anatomy of the species was analyzed to determine the xerophytic characteristics of T. philippinensis.  Histological paraffin technique was used to examine the anatomical structures of leaf and young stem of the species.  The anatomical structures of T. philippinensis have the characteristics typical of xerophytic plants.  This includes the presence of four types of trichomes, extended and well-developed vascular system, and multiple layers of palisade and sclerenchyma cells. Extension of extended vascular bundles to both non-glandular hairs on the adaxial surface and glandular hairs on the abaxial surface of leaf is reported for the first time in this study. Therefore, anatomical structures of this species suggest its ability to survive under marginal conditions.  However, studies on ecophysiology, pot experiments/field trials, phenology, and associated vegetation of the species are suggested to further understand its habitat preference and adaptation mechanisms.

The genus Tectona L.f. (Lamiaceae) includes only three species of trees restricted to the Asian tropics, viz., Tectona grandis L.f. occurring in India, Laos, Mynamar, and Thailand; Tectona hamiltoniana Wall., endemic to Myanmar; and Tectona philippinensis Benth. & Hook.f., endemic to the Philippines.  T. hamiltoniana occurs in the central dry zone of Myanmar (Kiyono et al. 2007; Aye et al. 2014), while T. grandis is known from a wider range of climatic conditions, including dry areas, throughout its natural range (Kaosa-ard 1981; Gyi & Tint 1998).  Both these species are known to be deciduous trees.  
T. philippinensis is known only from Ilin Island and Batangas Province on Luzon Island, usually along dry hills and exposed limestone ridges along the coasts and is also deciduous (Caringal et al. 2015). . . . . read more

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