Tropical Ecology and Conservation [Monteverde Institute]

Alternative Title

Condiciones del microclima dentro de las hojas enrolladas de Lepanthes helleri (Orchidaceae)


Brian C. Jones



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Publication Date

May 2008


Epiphytic orchids of the cloud forest experience wet conditions from the high input of mist, but also drying from the potentially desiccating conditions of wind and light. The ability to minimize water loss while still maintaining photosynthetic levels is pivotal in an individual’s survival. This study examined Lepanthes helleri and the role of leaf-curling as a mechanism to regulate microclimate conditions. Parameters measured included the size of the leaf and the width of its opened curl, relative humidity of the ambient environment, air and temperature inside and outside of the leaf. The relationships between the width of the leaf opening (“aperture”) and stomatal density, the percent of open stomata, and the presence of flowers, buds, or neither were tested. Air temperature and leaf height, when factored into a model testing significance, had the most impact on how open the leaf was (stepwise multiple regression; R2 adj = 0.18, P < 0.05, DF = 58 and n = 61). Specifically, as leaf height and aperture size increased, the inside temperature increased. There was a significant difference between the mean temperatures inside and outside the leaf (Paired t-test; t = 7.48, P < 0.0001, DF = 60, n = 61 for both) as well as a negative linear regression between aperture and stomatal density (F = 8.04, R2 adj = 0.12, P = 0.007, n = 52).


Las orquídeas epífitas del bosque nuboso viven en condiciones húmedas debido a la neblina y también a las condiciones desecadas por el sol y el viento. La habilidad de reducir la pérdida de agua mientras que mantiene los niveles de fotosíntesis es lo más importante para la sobrevivencia de una planta. Esta investigacion examino a Lepanthes helleri y el papel de la hoja enrollada como un mecanismo de cambio en las condiciones del microclima.


Orchids, Acclimitization (Plants), CIEE Spring 2008

Palabras claves

Orquídeas, Aclimatación (Plantas), CIEE Primavera 2008


8 pages

Geographic Location

Monteverde (Puntarenas, Costa Rica)

Holding Location

Monteverde Institute


English; Spanish

Media Type



Digital Only





Microclimate conditions within the rolled leaves of Lepanthes helleri (Orchidaceae)



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