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Leaf gigantism in coastal areas: morphological and physiological variation in four species on the Tasman Peninsula, Tasmania


Blackman, CJ and Jordan, GJ and Wiltshire, RJE, Leaf gigantism in coastal areas: morphological and physiological variation in four species on the Tasman Peninsula, Tasmania, Australian Journal of Botany, 53, (2) pp. 91-100. ISSN 0067-1924 (2005) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1071/BT04040


Leaf gigantism is an example of marked morphological variation associated with abrupt environmental gradients of increasing coastal exposure. This study characterises the morphology and anatomy of leaf gigantism in four species across two habitats on the coastal headlands of the Tasman Peninsula, Tasmania, Australia. In addition, the genetic basis and adaptive significance of leaf gigantism are examined. Leaf gigantism was characterised in Leptospermum scoparium, Acacia verticillata and Allocasuarina monilifera by greater thickness and succulence, and by greater thickness and increased support tissue in Allocasuarina crassa. Glasshouse-grown seedlings of each species derived from exposed and inland field sites showed that leaf gigantism has both genetic and environmental components. Leaf succulence and a slower growth rate were shown to be heritable in seedlings from the exposed site of L. scoparium and A. verticillata, indicating genetic differentiation. In the reciprocal translocation trial, the higher degree of stress tolerance (as measured by chlorophyll florescence) exhibited by seedlings of L. scoparium and A. verticillata from the exposed site demonstrated the adaptive significance of leaf gigantism in these species. The ecological and evolutionary implications of leaf gigantism on the Tasman Peninsula are discussed. © CSIRO 2005.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Evolutionary biology
Research Field:Evolutionary biology not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in the environmental sciences
UTAS Author:Blackman, CJ (Dr Christopher Blackman)
UTAS Author:Jordan, GJ (Professor Greg Jordan)
UTAS Author:Wiltshire, RJE (Dr Robert Wiltshire)
ID Code:38013
Year Published:2005
Web of Science® Times Cited:4
Deposited By:Plant Science
Deposited On:2005-08-01
Last Modified:2009-08-26

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