Variations in leaf morphological and functional traits of Quercus castaneifolia C.A.Mey. (Fagaceae) in Azerbaijan

Güllü N. Aliyeva

The variations of leaf morphology and functional traits of Quercus castaneifolia C.A.Mey. in various regions of Azerbaijan with different gradients of water availability, elevation, mean annual precipitation and mean annual temperature have been studied. The differentiation in morphological and functional traits of 300 leaves from 30 trees from 3 populations were measured and analyzed using univariate and multivariate analyses. The aim of the study was to evaluate inter- and intra-population differentiation. As a result, we determined that morphological characteristics such as leaf size, leaf area, leaf width, and leaf perimeter decreased with increasing precipitation. The foliar moisture parameters, leaf mass per unit area, water content, relative water content, and succulence, positively correlated with annual precipitation and elevation but negatively correlated with mean annual temperature. This study provides evidence for the adaptive plasticity-polymorphism of leaves in response to environmental changes.
Skvortsovia: 7(2): 41 – 53 (published on line 16 June 2021)