The distribution of aluminium (Al) accumulation in the Ericales is surveyed, based on semi-quantitative tests of 114 species and literature data. Al accumulation mainly characterises the families Diapensiaceae, Pentaphylacaceae, Symplocaceae, Ternstroemiaceae, and Theaceae. Al accumulation is consistently present or absent in most families examined, but the character appears to be more variable in a few taxa (e.g., Lecythidaceae, Myrsinaceae). Although the interfamilial relationships within the Ericales require further research, the ability to accumulate high levels of Al appears to show considerable taxonomic significance. While the majority of Al accumulating Ericales includes woody, tropical plants, the feature is remarkably present in several herbaceous Diapensiaceae, which have a distribution in cold to temperate areas. The association of different mycorrhizae types with plant roots is suggested to play a role in the exclusion of high Al levels from the shoot.

, , , , , , ,
Plant Biology
Staff publications

Jansen, S., Watanabe, T., Caris, P., Geuten, K., Lens, F., Pyck, N., & Smets, E. (2004). The distribution and phylogeny of aluminium accumulating plants in the Ericales. Plant Biology, 6, 498–505. doi:10.1055/s-2004-820980