Nickel Localization on Tissues of Hyperaccumulator Species of Phyllanthus L. (Euphorbiaceae) from Ultramafic Areas of Cuba

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Two species of perennial Phyllanthus (Euphorbiaceae) (Phyllanthus orbicularis and Phyllanthus discolor, both endemic to ultramafic areas of Cuba, and their natural hybrid, Phyllanthus xpallidus) were selected for metal local-ization microanalysis. Different plant tissues were analyzed by X-ray fluorescence, inductively coupled plasma–atomic emission spectroscopy, and scanning electron microscopy coupled with an energy-dispersive X-ray probe. All of the studied taxa are nickel (Ni) hyperaccumulators and sig-nificant concentrations of this element were found in different leaf and stem tissues. The highest Ni content was found in the laticifer tubes, whereas leaf epidermis Ni content resulted to be much more relevant in terms of total metal storage. Calcium and magnesium were found more evenly distributed in leaf and stem tissues.

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