SEASONAL VARIATION OF LEAF ECOPHYSIOLOGICAL TRAITS OF IRIS VARIEGATA OBSERVED IN TWO CONSECUTIVE YEARS IN NATURAL HABITATS WITH CONTRASTING LIGHT CONDITIONS
Barišić Klisarić, Nataša
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The amount and pattern of individual phenotypic responses to seasonal changes in environmental conditions were determined in clones of Iris variegata growing in differing light habitats. For the purpose of the study, 97 clonal plants of the rhizomatous herb I. variegata that experienced different light conditions in their two native habitats were selected: one along the top and slope of sand dunes and one in woodland understories. Two fully expanded leaves that had developed during spring, summer and fall in two consecutive years were sampled from each of these clones. Six leaf traits affecting the photosynthetic rate of a plant -morphological (specific leaf area), anatomical (stomatal density) and physiological (total chlorophyll concentration, chlorophyll a/chlorophyll b ratio, carotenoid concentration, chlorophyll a/carotenoid ratio) exhibited significant plastic responses in the two different light habitats. To test whether these traits differ between exposed and shaded habitats as well as during different vegetation periods, we used the repeated model analysis of variance (ANOVA). Results of the repeated ANOVA revealed statistically significant effects of year, habitat and period of vegetation season. Patterns of changes during growing seasons were year-specific for almost all analyzed traits.