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Observations on the reproductive ecology of Thalassia testudinum (Hydrocharitaceae). 2. Leaf width as a secondary sex character
Durako, M.J.; Moffler, M.D. (1985). Observations on the reproductive ecology of Thalassia testudinum (Hydrocharitaceae). 2. Leaf width as a secondary sex character. Aquat. Bot. 21(3): 265-275
In: Aquatic Botany. Elsevier Science: Tokyo; Oxford; New York; London; Amsterdam. ISSN 0304-3770, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keywords
    Dimensions; Leaves; Sex differences; Sexual dimorphism; Hydrocharitaceae Jussieu [WoRMS]; Thalassia testudinum K.D.Koenig, 1805 [WoRMS]; Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Durako, M.J.
  • Moffler, M.D.

Abstract
    Short-shoots of Thalassia testudinum Banks ex Koening were collected from 5 sites in Florida. A total of 284, 625-cm2 quadrat samples, containing 6182 short-shoots was analyzed for leaf width, inflorescence number and sex (the latter if determinable). Although leaf widths and reproductive densities differed at the 5 sites, leaf width was consistently greater when reproductive structures were present, and when the number of inflorescences increased. Sex ratios were male-biased for 4 of the 5 sites. Comparisons of leaf widths between the sexes indicated that leaf width constituted a secondary sex character for this species. Female short-shoots tend to have narrower leaves than male short-shoots. This relationship should also be considered when evaluating the significance of morphogeographic and stress-related variation in leaf width for this species.

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