Differences in leaf morphology between Quercus petraea and Q. robur adult and young individuals
Silva Fennica 42(1): 115124
The characters of Quercus robur and Q. petraea leaves are of main taxonomic value and the adult trees of both species can be distinguished on them. However, young individuals, mostly seedlings but also saplings, are told to be undistinguishable or only partly distinguishable on the leaf morphology. The aim of the study was to verify this hypothesis on the basis of biometrical analyses of leaf characteristics of adults trees and saplings in two mixed oak woods, one located close to the north-eastern limit, the other about 400 km inside of the Q. petraea range in Poland. The analysis of discriminations and minimum spanning tree on the squares of Mahalanobis distances were analysed to find differences between Q. robur, Q. petraea and intermediate adults and saplings. The differences between saplings of Q. robur and Q. petraea were found lower than between adult trees. Nevertheless, the biometrical analysis confirmed determination of saplings in the field.
Received 13 February 2007 Revised 29.10.2007 Accepted 20 November 2007