Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Author's Department


First Advisor

Charles B. Arzeni


Oil-bodies are distinct and varied structures found only in the Hepaticae and with particular frequency in the Jungermanniales. Untill relatively recently the oil-body has been virtually ignored by liverwort morphologists and taxonomists.

This study includes descriptions and photomicrographs of the oil-bodies of 23 species and 14 genera in 9 familes of leafy liverworts of east-central Illinois. Diagnostic characteristics recorded for each species include the number of oil-bodies per cell, size range of the oil-bodies, color, shape, texture and arrangement of the oil-bodies within the cell. It was found that the familes Lepidoziaceae, Calypogeiaceae, Jungermanniaceae, Scapaniaceae, Porellaceae and Frullaniaceae are composed of genera and species that show homogenous oil-body characteristics. The Ptilidaceae contain two species with oil-bodies of different shapes, colors and numbers per cell. In the Harpanthaceae it was found that colors vary among the three species observed along with widely varying textures. Only one species from the Plagiochilaceae was studied.

Because oil-bodies are easy to find in fresh material and contain several distinguishing characteristics, their morphological descriptions can aid taxonomists and phylogeneticists in the systematic arrangements of leafy liverworts and in the construction of keys for their identification. Descriptive and taxonomic works and morphological studies should include detailed oil-body descriptions. Oil-bodies are unique structures that cannot be ignored.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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