Degree Name

MS (Master of Science)



Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Istvan Karsai

Committee Members

Tim McDowell, Christopher Liu


Leaf morphology of Quercus (oak) species is highly variable and complicated confounded with phenotypic plasticity and fluctuating asymmetry (FA). However, the study of variation is mostly limited to leaf morphology. This study was extended to plasticity and FA variations in Q. alba (white oak), Q. palustris (pin oak), and Q. velutina (black oak). It was hypothesized that light exposure, individual trees, leaf position, and other leaf traits will influence variation in these species. Leaves were sampled from trees of these species and their morphological traits were measured. Absolute asymmetry of leaf width and area were determined and plasticity of each species was calculated. The data were analyzed using nested ANOVA with General Linear Model. Leaf morphology, plasticity and FA varied across the species and light exposure was the main source of variation. Individual trees and several leaf covariate traits also influenced leaf morphological and FA variations in all species.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.

Included in

Biology Commons