Leaf bilateral symmetry and the scaling of the perimeter vs. the surface area in 15 vine species
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The leaves of vines exhibit a high degree of variability in shape, from simple oval to highly dissected palmatifid leaves. However, little is known about the extent of leaf bilateral symmetry in vines, how leaf perimeter scales with leaf surface area, and how this relationship depends on leaf shape. We studied 15 species of vines and calculated (i) the areal ratio (AR) of both sides of the lamina per leaf, (ii) the standardized symmetry index (SI) to estimate the deviation from leaf bilateral symmetry, and (iii) the dissection index (DI) to measure leaf-shape complexity. In addition, we examined whether there is a scaling relationship between leaf perimeter and area for each species. A total of 14 out of 15 species had no significant differences in average ln(AR), and mean ln(AR) approximated zero, indicating that the areas of the two lamina sides tended to be equal. Nevertheless, SI values among the 15 species had significant differences. A statistically strong scaling relationship between leaf perimeter and area was observed for each species, and the scaling exponents of 12 out of 15 species fell in the range of 0.49-0.55. These data show that vines tend to generate a similar number of left- and right-skewed leaves, which might contribute to optimizing light interception. Weaker scaling relationships between leaf perimeter and area were associated with a greater DI and a greater variation in DI. Thus, DI provides a useful measure of the degree of the complexity of leaf outline.
- RESEARCH: Hui C