A small modified leaf, especially a colourless membranous one, such as on a rhizome or forming part of a bulb.
- Each GU can be identified by the existence of morphological markers in the form of scale leaf and assimilating leaf scars alternately distributed along the aerial axes.
- For example, a scale leaf that is able to support greater rates of water loss may have a higher total productivity than a much larger leaf that requires high surface resistances.
- Later, when trees reach the adult stage, leaf primordia differentiate into scale leaves, and photosynthetic activity is shifted to long needles differentiated on short shoots.
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