Document Type

Honors

Department

Biology

Abstract

Intraspecific variability has been an overlooked and under-investigated driving force behind biodiversity. Both interspecific and intraspecific variability contribute to species community assembly, and the South African Cape Floristic Region (CFR), as an area of remarkable biodiversity, provides the perfect opportunity to the latter. The objective of this research is to study intraspecific variability in leaf traits across three biomes that span rainfall and temperature gradients, and to assess the partitioning of that variability across biomes, across shrubs within biomes, and within shrubs of four focal species - Rushia intricata, Aridaria noctiflorum, Diospyros austro-africana and Chrysocoma ciliata. All collections were made in the towns of Calvinia, Nieuwoudtville, and Sutherland from July 28-August 27, 2014. ANOVAs were performed using the statistical package R. The results suggest that for all species except Diospyros austro-africana, most of the variability occurs at the within-shrub level. This study also suggests that the focal species, with the exception of Rushia intricata, are in fact responding to environmental conditions.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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