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Phenotypic variation in Davilla elliptica A. St.-Hil. (Dilleniaceae) and Byrsonima intermedia A. Juss. (Malpighiaceae) subpopulations in a savanna/"vereda" transitional area

Léo Correia da Rocha Filho Cecília Lomônaco About the authors

Morphological variations of two shrub species of the Brazilian savanna were described. For D. elliptica, fruit biomass and plant height were significantly larger in the "vereda" area, although leaf width, leaf length and leaf shape did not differ between areas. Subpopulations of B. intermedia differed in fruit biomass, plant height and leaf area index, all larger in the savanna area. No significant differences were detected between areas for number of fruits per plant, length of leaves and inflorescences and leaf width. D. elliptica showed better reproductive success in the "vereda" area, where it has greater density, whereas B. intermedia demonstrated better performance in the savanna area, although no difference was found in density between areas. On the other hand, both species presented a similar pattern of asynchronism of the flowering period, which began later in the savanna area. The data confirm the importance of phenotypic plasticity as a source of variability in plant life-history characters.

phenotypic plasticity; savanna; palm swamp

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