Cloned plants

David Kirschtel kirschte at
Fri Oct 27 09:27:23 EST 2000

Why go through the trouble of using multiple plant clones to demonstrate
environmental effects on phenotype when you can see this on one single
plant. The process is called heterophylly. While it does occur is some
terrrestrial plants, it's most common in aquatic vascular plants.
Typically there are three distinctively different leaf shapes depending
upon whether the leaves are submerged, floating or emergent (aerial).
Genera that have good examples of this are Ranunculus, Potomageton,
Sagitarria, Utricularia. 

The added benefit to using heterophylly as opposed to cloning is that
this is a "real world" as opposed to "abstract" phenomenon that they can
take home. Your visitors/students/guests can see heterophylly for
themselves when they go for nature walks and canoeing etc. My guess is
that most of the plants listed above can be found in the ponds and
streams in the urban and not-so-urban parks in the area.  

Some good sources for this info are:

????, "Aquatic Vascular Plants of the Lake George Region", NY State Museum

Hutchinson,G.E., "A Treatise on Limnology", ...

I'll be glad to forward my lecture notes from an intro botany class if
you'd be interested.

Hope that this is helpful.

   David Kirschtel, Ph.D. * kirschte at * 517.432.0898
    112 N Kedzie Lab * Mich State Univ * E Lansing, MI * 48824

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