Intraspecific leaf shape at local scale determines offspring characteristics

Pastor, Estrella; Soliveres, Santiago; Vilagrosa, Alberto; Bonet, Andreu (2018). Intraspecific leaf shape at local scale determines offspring characteristics. Journal of Arid Environments, 153, pp. 18-23. Elsevier 10.1016/j.jaridenv.2017.12.013

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Identifying the degree of adaptation to particular environmental constraints at small geographical scales (e.g., intra-population variability) is particularly valuable to select plant reproductive material in restoration projects. We analyzed possible differences among progeny characteristics of Quercus coccifera L. a species of interest in forest restoration under Mediterranean climates. The differences were tested among seeds and seedlings from two phenotypic groupings (small and large leaves) within one provenance under semi-arid climate. In addition, these seeds and seedlings were compared with those from a near population under contrasted climate (i.e., subhumid climate). We analyzed differences in germination, growth and seedling morphological traits (height, number of leaves and canopy area). We considered the different characteristics of the progeny across different parent individuals, intra- and inter-population levels. We found seed provenance effects on germination and seedling morphology at different scales. Progenies from semi-arid populations and from parent plants with a smaller leaf size showed lower germination rates and lower development of above-ground structures (shoots and leaves). Our results suggest that intrapopulation variability for phenotypic traits, such as leaf size, could influence offspring fitness. In addition, these morphological traits are easily identifiable by stakeholders and could be a useful tool to ensure early plant establishment in reforestation programs.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Plant Sciences (IPS)
08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Plant Sciences (IPS) > Biodiversity

UniBE Contributor:

Soliveres, Santiago


500 Science > 580 Plants (Botany)








Peter Alfred von Ballmoos-Haas

Date Deposited:

08 May 2018 15:07

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 15:11

Publisher DOI:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

provenance; leaf intraspecific variability; germination; growth; Quercus coccifera L; restoration




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