Abstract. Wahidah BF, Afiati N, Jumari. 2022. Ecological role and potential extinction of Amorphophallus variabilis in Central Java, Indonesia. Biodiversitas 23: 1765-1773. Amorphophallus variabilis Blume is a member of the genus Amorphophallus which is known as a wild plant that lives in forests, including Central Java, Indonesia. This plant has a high diversity but its existence is neglected and is rarely used by the community. This study aims to introduce A. variabilis through the inherent biological characteristics of the species, local the community’s knowledge, ecological functions and the threat of extinction. Data on biological characteristics covering morphological characters were obtained from field observations, while data on anatomy were obtained by making semi-permanent preparations using a modified Ruzin method. Data on community’s knowledge were obtained by conducting semi-structural interviews. The results showed that its morphological and ecological characters were very similar to other members of Amorphophallus, but with a very wide variety of patterns on the petiole. The anatomical structure of the leaf blade has a dorsiventral type consisting of several layers, namely a thin cuticle layer, flat upper epidermis, palisade mesophyll, spongy mesophyll, vascular tissue and lower epidermis. The tissue that composes the petiole consists of the epidermis, hypodermis, collenchyma supporting tissue, vascular bundles and secretory cells, while the tuber consists of periderm, cortex, vascular bundles, and pith tissue. This species has almost the same potential as Amorphophallus mueleri Blume which was previously known to have economic and medicinal values. However, the community’s knowledge about the A. variabialis is still poor, resulting in neglect of this species that possibly causes its extinction and may have an impact on the ecological balance.
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