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A pattern of seasonal changes in the morphological and anatomical leaf traits is reported for Potentilla argentea L. var. tenuiloba (Jord.) Sw. of temperate-climate areas in central Poland. Leaf area, perimeter, dry mass and lamina thickness were measured in summer and autumn leaves of the same individuals. Dissection index, density and specific leaf area were calculated. Significant differences were obtained between summer and autumn leaves obtained from the same individuals. The shapes of leaves of the P. argentea plants varied in the extent of incisions between teeth and the number of teeth on the margins. Fully expanded autumn leaves were larger in weight and area than summer leaves. The autumn leaves had lower leaf mass area and density than the summer leaves. Leaves were covered by considerably more trichomes in summer than in autumn. Anatomical leaf structure also changed with the season. The summer leaves were thick, with a lower number of chloroplasts in the cells of the compact mesophyll. Autumn leaves are thinner, with loose mesophyll. Chloroplasts from the two seasonal types of leaves differ on account of starch grain and plastoglobule content. The large variations in leaf density and thickness recorded here confirm great differences in cell size and amounts of structural tissue within species. Seasonal dimorphism of leaves may result from seasonal drought or from seasonality in leaf production, leaf fall or incoming solar radiation. Within this new context of seasonal leaf dimorphism, P. argentea can still be distinguished by the absence of deeply divided leaflets on late-formed leaves. The results confi rmed the presence of several morpho-anatomical leaf traits of P. argentea that allow the species to adapt to environmental seasonal conditions.


leaf dimorphism leaf structure leaf mass area Potentilla argentea

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How to Cite
Kolodziejek, J., Glinska, S., & Michlewska, S. (2015). Seasonal leaf dimorphism in Potentilla argentea L. var. tenuiloba (Jord.) Sw. (Rosaceae). Acta Botanica Croatica, 74(1). Retrieved from