NUMERICAL INTRASPECIFIC MORPHOMETRIC STUDY OF ACTINODAPHNE HOOKERI MEISN. (MAGNOLIOPSIDA: LAURALES: LAURACEAE) FROM MAHABALESHWAR, MAHARASHTRA, INDIASnehangshu Das and Minakshi C. Mahajan
The morphological parameters of seven trees of Actinodaphne hookeri Meisn. (Hindi: âPisaâ) were subjected to quantitative analysis in the present study by the means of eight observable morphological characters viz. length of leaf, width of leafâs base, width of leafâs middle part, width of leafâs apex, length of petiole, number of lateral veins present in a leaf, length of the branch and number of leaves present on each branch. The cluster analysis obtained the formation of six nodes with the least Sokalâs coefficient of taxonomic distance being found between trees termed as F and G with formation of three prominent groups. The factor loadings of Principal Component Analysis (PCA) and PCA scatter plot was achieved with the aid of Eigen values which establish that first two axes are helping in the grouping of the similar trees and delimiting the group of quantitatively similar trees from dissimilar trees. The current study is found to have a relatively low variation in Sokalâs coefficient of taxonomic distance ranging from 0.02375 to 0.2425 which helps in grouping and segregating the trees accordingly. It shows the importance of leaf biological scaling by considering heterogeneity for determining intraspecific morphological variations, providing and documenting effectiveness of Sokalâs coefficient of taxonomic distance for the first time in the realm of botanical taxonomy.