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Type: Journal article
Title: Leaf morphology shift linked to climate change
Author: Guerin, G.
Wen, H.
Lowe, A.
Citation: Biology Letters, 2012; 8(5):882-886
Publisher: The Royal Society
Issue Date: 2012
ISSN: 1744-9561
Statement of
Greg R. Guerin, Haixia Wen and Andrew J. Lowe
Abstract: Climate change is driving adaptive shifts within species, but research on plants has been focused on phenology. Leaf morphology has demonstrated links with climate and varies within species along climate gradients. We predicted that, given within-species variation along a climate gradient, a morphological shift should have occurred over time due to climate change. We tested this prediction, taking advantage of latitudinal and altitudinal variations within the Adelaide Geosyncline region, South Australia, historical herbarium specimens (n 5 255) and field sampling (n 5 274). Leaf width in the study taxon, Dodonaea viscosa subsp. angustissima, was negatively correlated with latitude regionally, and leaf area was negatively correlated with altitude locally. Analysis of herbarium specimens revealed a 2 mm decrease in leaf width (total range 1–9 mm) over 127 years across the region. The results are consistent with a morphological response to contemporary climate change. We conclude that leaf width is linked to maximum temperature regionally (latitude gradient) and leaf area to minimum temperature locally (altitude gradient). These data indicate a morphological shift consistent with a direct response to climate change and could inform provenance selection for restoration with further investigation of the genetic basis and adaptive significance of observed variation.
Keywords: Climate change; leaf morphology; adaptive shifts; latitude gradient; altitude gradient; Dodonaea viscosa
Rights: © 2012 The Royal Society
RMID: 0020122267
DOI: 10.1098/rsbl.2012.0458
Appears in Collections:Earth and Environmental Sciences publications
Environment Institute Leaders publications
Environment Institute publications

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