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Environmental stress

Iowa State University

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Leaf Fluctuating Assymetry Increases With Hybridization And Elevation In Tree-Line Birches, Brian J. Wilsey, Erkki Haukioja, Julia Koricheva, Matti Sulkinoja Jan 1998

Leaf Fluctuating Assymetry Increases With Hybridization And Elevation In Tree-Line Birches, Brian J. Wilsey, Erkki Haukioja, Julia Koricheva, Matti Sulkinoja

Brian J. Wilsey

Fluctuating asymmetry (FA), or random non-directional deviations from perfect symmetry in bilaterally or radially symmetrical traits, has recently been proposed to be a useful indicator of genetic and environmental stress. However, the factors underlying fluctuating asymmetry, especially in plants, remain poorly understood. We sampled leaf fluctuating asymmetry among and within three species of even-aged birch (Betula pubescens, B. nana, and B. pendula) and their interspecific hybrids growing in common gardens of northern Finland to determine whether hybridization and environmental stress are associated with increased developmental instability. Our predictions were that: (1) interspecific hybrids among B. pubescens, B. nana, and B. …