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Leaf Surfaces as Habitats for Microorganisms



  • Leaf surfaces of plants growing in their natural environments are colonized by epiphyllic microorganisms like bacteria, yeasts and filamentous fungi. This leads to various interactions between epiphyllic microorganisms and leaf surfaces (Schulze et al. 2005). Epiphyllic microorganisms can alter physicochemical properties of leaf surfaces by increasing wettability of the hydrophobic, water-repellent leaf surfaces and they can increase cuticular permeability (Schreiber et al. 2005). This will improve living conditions of the leaf surface as a habitat for epiphyllic microorganisms, since availability of water and nutrients will be increased (Krimm et al. 2005).