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    Author(s): William B. Critchfield
    Date: 1971
    Source: Journal of the Arnold Arboretum Volume 52, Number 2: p. 248-266
    Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication
    PDF: Download Publication  (2.6 MB)


    In Acer and many other woody genera, leaf form changes drastically and often abruptly during the life of the plant. Heterophylly is of two principal kinds in these woody plants: (1) changes during seedling and post-seedling stages, and (2) changes during the development of single annual shoots of adult plants. Type (1) is ubiquitous in Acer] type (2) is a regular feature of some species but uncommon or poorly expressed in others. These two types of heterophylly tend to converge; deviations in leaf shape on adult plants are often in the direction of seedling leaves. This tendency of woody plants to produce reversions, among other aspects of heterophylly, attracted a great deal of attention around the end of the 19th century, and much of our knowledge of these phenomena derives from that period. The principle that ontogeny tends to recapitulate phylogeny (Haeckers biogenetic "law") was widely accepted by biologists at the time, and variations in leaf form during development offered many apparent illustrations.

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    Critchfield, William B. 1971. Shoot growth and heterophylly in Acer. Journal of the Arnold Arboretum Volume 52, Number 2: p. 248-266

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