Skip to main content
padlock icon - secure page this page is secure

Open Access Small-scale variations in leaf shape under anthropogenic disturbance in dioecious forest forb mercurialis perennis: A geometric morphometric examination

Download Article:

The full text article is available externally.

The article you have requested is supplied via the DOAJ. View from original source.

This article is Open Access under the terms of the Creative Commons CC BY-NC-ND licence.

Plants are exposed to increasing levels of diverse human activities that have profound effects on their overall morphology and, specifically, on leaf morphology. Anthropogenic disturbances in urban and suburban forest recreational sites are attracting growing research interest. To explore the persisting recreational impact on leaf shape and size, we conducted a field study on the dioecious forb Mercurialis perennis L. (Euphorbiaceae), typical for undisturbed understory communities. We selected adjacent sites in a suburban forest, which experience contrasting regimes of disturbance by human trampling under otherwise concordant natural conditions. Patterns of leaf shape and size variation and putative sex-specific response to disturbance were analyzed using a geometric morphometric approach. In addition to leaf-level data, plant height, internode and leaf number were analyzed to explore the same response at the whole-plant level. The results show significant variations associated with disturbance at both levels: plants growing under a heavy disturbance regime had shorter stems with a greater number of wider and shorter leaves. Significant differences between sites were also found for leaf size, with larger leaves observed in an undisturbed site. The effects of sex and sex x site interaction on leaf size and shape were nonsignificant, pointing to the absence of sexual dimorphism and sex-specific response to disturbance. Contrary to leaf shape and size, all three analyzed shoot traits showed highly significant sexual dimorphism, with male plants being higher and having higher leaf and internode count. [Projekat Ministarstva nauke Republike Srbije, br. 173025]
No References
No Citations
No Supplementary Data
No Article Media
No Metrics

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Faculty of Biology, Belgrade

Publication date: January 1, 2016

  • Access Key
  • Free content
  • Partial Free content
  • New content
  • Open access content
  • Partial Open access content
  • Subscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed content
  • Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more