Journal of Plant Research

, Volume 106, Issue 1, pp 15–24 | Cite as

Geographic differentiation among populations ofArabis serrata Fr. & Sav. (Brassicaceae)

  • Ken Oyama


Geographic variation in morphological traits of thirteen populations ofArabis serrata was analyzed to characterize the life history of each particular population in the field. These localities varied in altitude, topography, soil type, humidity, vegetation structure and degree of disturbance. Twelve morphological characters were measured in each plant, and populations were compared using both univariate and multivariate analyses. Populations showed significant differences for most of the traits measured. Principal component analyses revealed a significant differentiation among populations although a continuous variation for some traits was noted. Length of capsules and leaf length of inflorescence's stalks were correlated with the number of frost free days and with temperature, precipitation and number of days of the growing season. The number of rosettes was also correlated with the same variables but negatively. Seed weight was correlated positively with altitude but negatively with temperature and length of the growing season. Populations were also differentiated according to soil conditions and disturbance regimes distinguishing different types of populations: I) populations with many small rosettes, and few heavy seeds per capsule in volcanic soils with low disturbance; ii) plants with many small seeds and few rosettes in very disturbed localities along asphalt roadways and mountain trails; and iii) large plants with intermediate seed size and intermediate number of seeds per plant in limestone and serpentine soils under different conditions of disturbance.

Populations ofA. serrata displayed a complex pattern of differentiation in morphological and life history traits in relation to several biotic and abiotic factors. The quantitative nature of the differences among populations ofA. serrata observed in the field deserves further studies (e.g., quantitative genetics and phenotypic plasticity) under controlled conditions in order to assess the extent of differentiation within this species complex.

Key words

Arabis serrata Brassicaceae Ecotypes Geographic variation Morphological variation Population differentiation 


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Copyright information

© The Botanical Society of Japan 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ken Oyama
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Botany, Faculty of ScienceKyoto UniversityKyotoJapan

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