Kew Bulletin

, Volume 63, Issue 2, pp 193–211 | Cite as

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

  • I. M. Andrade
  • S. J. MayoEmail author
  • D. Kirkup
  • C. Van Den Berg


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.

Key words

Araceae Brazil brejo forest Ceará elliptic Fourier Analysis Monstera morphometrics 



We are most grateful to the following organisations and persons for their essential help: FUNCAP (Fundaçao Cearense de Amparo à Pesquisa), FAPESB (Fundação de Amparo a Pesquisa do Estado da Bahia, WWF Brasil, Kew Latin America Research Fellowships Programme (Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew), Margaret Mee Fellowships Programme (Fundação Botânica Margaret Mee, Rio de Janeiro, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew), Ministério do Meio Ambiente (IBAMA, permit number 001/2004, 042/04), Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científica e Tecnológica (CNPq, MCT permit number, 168/01), Dr Ana Maria Giulietti, Dr Robyn Cowan, Anna Haigh, Dr Jean-Jacques de Granville and the staff of the CAY herbarium in French Guiana, Bertrand Goguillon and the staff of IRD (French Guiana) for permission to collect, Dr Denis Barabé, Thales Alves Ribeiro, Sr. José Teodoro Soares, Rector of the Universidade Estadual do Vale do Acaraú (UVA), Sobral-CE.

Supplementary material

12225_2008_9032_MOESM1_ESM.doc (170 kb)
ESM 1 (DOC 174 KB)


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Copyright information

© The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • I. M. Andrade
    • 1
  • S. J. Mayo
    • 2
    Email author
  • D. Kirkup
    • 2
  • C. Van Den Berg
    • 1
  1. 1.Programa de Pós-Graduação em Botânica, Departamento de Ciências BiológicasUniversidade Estadual de Feira de Santana (UEFS)Feira de SantanaBrazil
  2. 2.HerbariumRoyal Botanic GardensRichmondUK

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