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Article

Patterns of Leaf Morphological Traits of Beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) along an Altitudinal Gradient

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Section of Plant Biology, Department of Biology, University of Patras, Rio, 26504 Patras, Greece
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Community Ecology Division, Institute of Ecology and Evolution, University of Bern, 3012 Bern, Switzerland
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Department of Forestry, Environmental Management and Natural Resources, Democritus University of Thrace, 68200 Orestiada, Greece
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Department of Botany, School of Biology, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, 54124 Thessaloniki, Greece
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Biodiversity Conservation Laboratory, Department of Environment, University of the Aegean, 81100 Mytilene, Greece
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Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Democritus University of Thrace, Dragana, 68100 Alexandroupolis, Greece
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Co-first author, these authors contributed equally to this work.
Academic Editor: Elisabetta Salvatori
Forests 2021, 12(10), 1297; https://doi.org/10.3390/f12101297
Received: 26 August 2021 / Revised: 16 September 2021 / Accepted: 21 September 2021 / Published: 23 September 2021
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Ecophysiology and Biology)
Broadleaved tree species in mountainous populations usually demonstrate high levels of diversity in leaf morphology among individuals, as a response to a variety of environmental conditions associated with changes in altitude. We investigated the parameters shaping leaf morphological diversity in 80 beech individuals (Fagus sylvatica L.), in light and shade leaves, growing along an elevational gradient and under different habitat types on Mt. Paggeo in northeastern Greece. A clear altitudinal pattern was observed in the morphological leaf traits expressing lamina size and shape; with increasing altitude, trees had leaves with smaller laminas, less elongated outlines, and fewer pairs of secondary veins. However, this altitudinal trend in leaf morphology was varied in different habitat types. Furthermore, the shade leaves and light leaves showed differences in their altitudinal trend. Traits expressing lamina shape in shade leaves were more related to altitude, while leaf size appeared to be more influenced by habitat type. While the altitudinal trend in leaf morphology has been well documented for numerous broadleaved tree species, in a small spatial scale, different patterns emerged across different habitat types. This morphological variability among trees growing in a mountainous population indicates a high potential for adaptation to environmental extremes. View Full-Text
Keywords: Fagus sylvatica; Fagaceae; Greece; leaf morphometrics; leaf traits; altitude; plasticity; adaptation; habitat Fagus sylvatica; Fagaceae; Greece; leaf morphometrics; leaf traits; altitude; plasticity; adaptation; habitat
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MDPI and ACS Style

Adamidis, G.C.; Varsamis, G.; Tsiripidis, I.; Dimitrakopoulos, P.G.; Papageorgiou, A.C. Patterns of Leaf Morphological Traits of Beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) along an Altitudinal Gradient. Forests 2021, 12, 1297. https://doi.org/10.3390/f12101297

AMA Style

Adamidis GC, Varsamis G, Tsiripidis I, Dimitrakopoulos PG, Papageorgiou AC. Patterns of Leaf Morphological Traits of Beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) along an Altitudinal Gradient. Forests. 2021; 12(10):1297. https://doi.org/10.3390/f12101297

Chicago/Turabian Style

Adamidis, George C., Georgios Varsamis, Ioannis Tsiripidis, Panayiotis G. Dimitrakopoulos, and Aristotelis C. Papageorgiou. 2021. "Patterns of Leaf Morphological Traits of Beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) along an Altitudinal Gradient" Forests 12, no. 10: 1297. https://doi.org/10.3390/f12101297

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