عنوان مقاله [English]
Leaf samples were collected from 37 populations of Brant`s oak (Quercus brantii) high forests across Zagros in five provinces of Iran. The samples were subsequently labeled based on their maternal trees’ communities and populations, and the crown position, which leaves were located. For each leaf, lamina length to width and lamina to petiole length ratios as well as the number of veins and marginal teeth, a new invented leaf index called “serration index” and the angle between the outmost marginal tooth direction and leaf blade edge were measured. A fully nested ANOVA analysis showed that a steady pattern of decline exists in all leaf indices from community (high differences) to crown position (no difference). Sharp differences detected based on the leaf indices related to marginal teeth and veins. Using the leaf indices following clustering the populations, the results showed an up to 50% variation between southern and northern Brant`s oak populations. Considering two factors of heritability and phenotypic plasticity through proper research methodology, the results suggest a revising in botanical classification of the Brant`s oak taxa based on the samples collected in agreement with latitude as well as altitude alterations.