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Research Poster

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Our hypothesis was that the average leaf size of Malosma laurinais would be different at high and low elevations due to the variance in temperature and solar radiation. This is especially relevant considering the severe drought conditions of California. Testing the factors of growth for chaparral may help ecologists to better understand how the plants cope with abnormalities in the ecosystem. Our study examined variance in Malosma laurinais leaf length, width, area, curvature, and thickness at high elevation (610 meters to 629 meters) and low elevation (27 meters to 53 meters) located along Sycamore Canyon. Differences were only significant in leaf length and area. The least amount of variance was found in thickness. All other conditions had a higher mean value in plants at lower elevation. Our research confirmed our hypothesis for observable differences in leaf size at high versus low elevations, based on the changes in length and area of Malosma laurinais leaves.

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