Underground systems of Asteraceae species from the Brazilian Cerrado. The aim of this study was to describe the underground systems structure, the origin of the shoot buds, and to identify the storage reserve of seven Asteraceae species in order to understand the adaptive strategies of these species in burned Cerrado areas and their higher frequency in the floristic surveys for herbaceous and undershrub layers of this biome. The subterranean systems types—diffuse underground system, rhizophore, tuberous roots, and xylopodium—varied among the studied species, but all of them have high shoot bud-forming potential. Fructans of the inulin type were detected as storage substances. The presence of these characteristics on the underground systems could explain the frequency of these species in the floristic surveys from the Brazilian Cerrado, in which fire and seasonal drought are frequent. It is possible that the belowground bud banks in the Cerrado biome are as important as demonstrated in North American prairies where fire is also frequent. However, in the Cerrado, as demonstrated here, there are types of underground systems other than rhizomes that are usually described in the prairie. Understanding the anatomical features of these plants is one of the steps to appropriate conservation management of these species in the Cerrado.
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Vol. 135 • No. 1