Melaleuca quinquenervia is a myrtle (family Myrtaceae) with a propensity for invasiveness. The leaves feature an isobilateral orientation: vertically aligned with a layer of palisade parenchyma on both the adaxial and abaxial sides. Quercus agrifolia (Fagaceae) is a native evergreen with one layer of palisade parenchyma. Due to this structural difference, it was hypothesized that Melaleuca would have a higher rate of photosynthesis (Pn) and less reflectance (NDVI) of green light than Quercus. These two variables were compared using an unpaired t-test, yielding p-values of 0.1366 for NDVI and 0.04428 for photosynthetic rate. No significant difference was found between the NDVI of the two species, but a significant difference was observed in photosynthetic rate (with Melaleuca having the greater Pn). Thus we found evidence that appears to support our hypothesis in part, though the results concerning NDVI were inconclusive.
Quach, Vincent; Sauer, Ryan; Smith, Haley; and Wright, Christian, "Comparison of Photosynthetic Ability In Single and Double Palisade Parenchyma Leaves in Southern California" (2014). Pepperdine University, Featured Research. Paper 111.