European Journal of Experimental Biology Open Access

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Leaf morphological variation of Quercus brantii Lindl. along an altitudinal gradient in Zagros forests of Fars Province, Iran

Hamid Taleshi and Maryam Maasoumi Babarabi

Quercus brantii Lindl. species is known as Persian oak, West oak and Zagros oak. This species is one of the most important woody species of the Zagros forests. In this study three Persian oak populations were selected with three ranges of altitude in several regions Then, in each of these sites, 10 trees were selected. In each tree, 10 leaves were collected. The leaves of each tree were mixed and then 5 leaves were selected randomly and 20 traits were measured. Comparison of means by using Duncan’s test showed that 10 traits of 20 leaf characteristics had the lowest value in second population but there is no significant difference between first and third populations. In conclusion we can say that the second population had the highest difference of leaf morphological characteristics compared to other populations. PCA showed that the traits of leaf blade length, interval between apical and basal tooth, angle of leaf blade base, leaf blade width, interval between basal pair of tooth and blade width in 0.1 length of blade from leaf base had the greatest impact in classification. On the basis of cluster analysis three populations were grouped in five categories. This issue indicated that in each of the second and third population, the leaf traits were more similar than the first population and this population could have genetic diversity of within population. Totally, trees of the first population had the most Euclidean distance from each other that this issue might indicate genetic diversity of within population.