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On the polymorphism of cyanogenesis in lotus corniculatus l 10. successional differences in the distribution of cyanogenic and acyanogenic plants



On the polymorphism of cyanogenesis in lotus corniculatus l 10. successional differences in the distribution of cyanogenic and acyanogenic plants



Journal of Natural History 20(6): 1443-1460



Most populations of the legume Lotus corniculatus are polymorphic for the characters of leaf cyanogenesis and petal cyanogenesis. The distribution of these phenotypes was investigated in a section of chalk quarry where the vegetation ranged from pioneer species growing on almost bare chalk through to a mature grassland assemblage. The vegetation surrounding randomly chosen L. corniculatus individuals was recorded and this information was used to compare the environments in which the different phenotypes were growing. Leaf cyanogenic plants were found to occur at higher frequencies in grassland areas than in the more open conditions typical of earlier stages in the succession at the quarry. Factors that may be responsible for the distribution of the phenotypes are discussed.

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