Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 21, Issue 22, pp 12928–12940 | Cite as

Fluctuating asymmetry in Robinia pseudoacacia leaves—possible in situ biomarker?

  • Nataša Barišić Klisarić
  • Danijela Miljković
  • Stevan Avramov
  • Uroš Živković
  • Aleksej Tarasjev
Research Article


In this study, we analyzed fluctuating asymmetry (FA) of black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia) leaf traits as a measure of developmental instability in polluted and unpolluted habitats. We aimed to evaluate the potential of this method as a biomarker and its applicability on widely distributed species under in situ conditions. Leaf samples were taken from seven sites—three categorized as unpolluted (natural protected and rural) and four categorized as polluted covering the broad spectrum of intense pollution (industrial and traffic), from 1,489 individual trees in total. Results revealed significant differences in FA with expected higher values in polluted environments. Applicability of FA of R. pseudoaccacia leaf traits as a biomarker for testing potential pollution level, as well as the amount and distribution of sampling effort needed for its application, are discussed.


Biomonitoring Biomarker Developmental instability Fluctuating asymmetry Pollution Robinia pseudoacacia 



This study was supported by the Ministry of Science and Technological Development of the Republic of Serbia research grant no. 173025 “Evolution in heterogeneous environments: mechanisms of adaptation, biomonitoring and conservation of biodiversity.” We thank Ph.D. Biljana Stojković for her assistance in data collection and processing and English language reader, Ph.D. Krinka Vidaković Petrov for her suggestions. We would like to extend our thanks to the anonymous referees for their comments on an earlier draft of this manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nataša Barišić Klisarić
    • 1
  • Danijela Miljković
    • 1
  • Stevan Avramov
    • 1
  • Uroš Živković
    • 1
  • Aleksej Tarasjev
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Evolutionary Biology, Institute for Biological Research “Siniša Stanković”University of BelgradeBelgradeSerbia

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