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Acta Botanica Brasilica

Print version ISSN 0102-3306On-line version ISSN 1677-941X


MEDINA, Rayssa Garay et al. Evidence of morphometric differentiation among Antarctic moss populations as a response to local microenvironment. Acta Bot. Bras. [online]. 2015, vol.29, n.3, pp.383-390. ISSN 0102-3306.

Studies on phenotypic variation among populations growing in different microenvironments may provide information about plasticity related to environmental pressures, and thus help to elucidate the potential evolutionary forces contributing to the origin and maintenance of diversity in any region. In this study we investigate morphometric variation on a small geographic scale for three species of Antarctic mosses. All species revealed significant differentiation among populations for all evaluated traits. The comparison of morphometric measures of populations of Polytrichum juniperinumfrom Nelson Island and from southern Brazil suggests that the effects of a small geographic scale in Antarctica are the same as a large geographic scale in environments where the climate is more homogeneous and microhabitats have minor influence on vegetation. However, further investigations over a larger area, evaluating more species, and using controlled garden experiments are recommended in order to evaluate the capacity for plasticity of moss species in different climatic conditions and on different geographic scales.

Keywords : Andreae gainii; Bryum pseudotriquetrum; Nelson Island; phenotypic plasticity; Polytrichum juniperinum.

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