Comparative morphology of populations of Monstera Adans. (Araceae) from natural forest fragments in Northeast Brazil using elliptic Fourier Analysis of leaf outlines

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2008
Authors:Andrade, I. M., Mayo, S. J., Kirkup, D., Van den Berg C.
Journal:Kew Bulletin
Keywords:Araceae, Brazil, brejo forest, Ceará, elliptic Fourier Analysis, Monstera, morphometrics

Summary. A comparative study of the leaf outline morphometrics of Monstera adansonii var. klotzschiana, M. adansonii var. laniata and M. praetermissa was carried out. The study focused on populations in isolated montane humid (brejo) forests of Ceará state in Northeast Brazil and compared them with populations from Amazonia and the Brazilian Atlantic Forest. Digitised outlines were prepared from a total of 1,695 field-collected leaf images from 20 populations, and elliptic Fourier analysis was used to generate matrices of coefficients, from which six shape variables (principal components) were extracted using Principal Components Analysis. Intra-population variability and inter-population differences were analysed with multivariate distance methods. Separate analyses were carried out for each of three leaf size classes (juvenile, submature, mature) because of the strong heteroblasty typical of this genus. Juvenile leaves were the least variable size class within populations of M. adansonii var. klotzschiana. The shape variables expressed very similar types of variation in all three size classes. The Ceará brejo populations of M. adansonii var. klotzschiana showed significant differences between mature leaf outlines in all pairwise comparisons; the Pacatuba population was the most distinct. The Ceará populations did not cluster together exclusively. In all three size classes, populations clustered together into their taxonomic groups, most clearly so in mature leaves. No correlation between morphological and geographic distance matrices was found, nor between morphological and molecular distance. The study showed that leaf outline shape is a practicable and useful quantitative trait for studying morphological variability at species, varietal and population levels.

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