Heterophylly


Also found in: Dictionary.

Heterophylly

 

the presence of differently shaped leaves on the same shoot or on different shoots of the same plant. Heterophylly occurs in many aquatic plants (for example, arrowhead, water crowfoot, water starwort, and some species of pondweed), in which the underwater leaves often differ sharply in form from those growing above the water.

In aquatic plants, heterophylly has an adaptive significance; the more finely divided underwater leaves are better able to absorb the carbon dioxide dissolved in the water. Heterophylly also occurs in land plants (for instance, in mulberry, some species of eucalyptus, and ivy) and is linked with developmental changes. (For example, in mulberry the leaves of the young shoots of non-fruit-bearing trees are often divided into lobes, while the leaves of older shoots are broad ovals or ovate.) Heterophylly in land plants is also associated with varying functions. In the epiphytic tropical fern Platycerium the first leaves are cup-shaped. When rotting leaves and branches fall into these cups, a layer of soil is formed and the air roots settle in. Subsequently formed leaves are long and serve to assimilate nutrients.

References in periodicals archive ?
No clear-cut differences between heterophylly and heteroblasty are mentioned in most of the literature, and these two processes are described interchangeably (see e.
The ecophysiological factors associated with heterophylly and heteroblasty have been discussed by Allsopp (1965), Jones (2001), and Zotz et al.
Based on studies in Syngonium (Araceae), Ray (1987) clearly described the so-called cyclic heterophylly as a differential development on distinct vegetative growth cycles; later, the same author (1990) refined this concept based on the examination of other Araceae, and described it as a "metamorphosis", which clearly differentiates first order from higher orders of development during leaf morphogenesis.
Plant Architecture, Heteroblasty and Heterophylly in Berberis s.
In contrast to heterophylly, heteroblastic development can only be modified, but is not driven, by environmental stimuli.
Heterophylly and its relevance to evolution within the Tillandsioideae.
Comparative morphology and early leaf histogenesis of adult and juvenile leaves of Darlingtonia californica and their bearing on concept of heterophylly.
Heterophylly is a conspicuous feature of many extant climbing plants (Cremers, 1973, 1974; Madison, 1977; Hegarty, 1989; Lee & Richards, 1991) and has also been demonstrated for the hook-scrambling/climbing pteridosperm taxa Mariopteris nervosa from the Westphalian of Great Britain (Kidston, 1925) and Pseudomariopteris busquetii from the Stephanian and Early Permian of France and Germany (Krings & Kerp, 2000; Krings et al.
Venation characters differentiate these two species, including short- and long-twig leaves; and, regardless of the great heterophylly found in both species, all leaves are correctly classified.
A good example is heterophylly in aquatic plants, such as in Ranunculus flabellaris (Ranunculaceae) (Young et al.