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Classical and dynamic morphology: toward a synthesis through the space of forms

Overview of attention for article published in Acta Biotheoretica, May 2007
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  • Good Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (66th percentile)

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Classical and dynamic morphology: toward a synthesis through the space of forms
Published in
Acta Biotheoretica, May 2007
DOI 10.1007/s10441-007-9007-8
Pubmed ID

Bernard Jeune, Denis Barabé, Christian Lacroix


In plant morphology, most structures of vascular plants can easily be assigned to pre-established organ categories. However, there are also intermediate structures that do not fit those categories associated with a classical approach to morphology. To integrate the diversity of forms in the same general framework, we constructed a theoretical morphospace based on a variety of modalities where it is possible to calculate the morphological distance between plant organs. This paper gives emphasis on shoot, leaf, leaflet and trichomes while ignoring the root. This will allow us to test the hypothesis that classical morphology (typology) and dynamic morphology occupy the same theoretical morphospace and the relationship between the two approaches remains a question of weighting of criteria. Our approach considers the shoot (i.e. leafy stem) as the basic morphological structural unit. A theoretical data table consisting of as many lines as there are possible combinations between different modalities of characters of a typical shoot was generated. By applying a principal components analysis (PCA) to these data it is possible to define a theoretical morphospace of shoots. Typical morphological elements (shoots, leaves, trichomes) and atypical structures (phylloclades, cladodes) including particular cases representing 'exotic' structures such as the epiphyllous appendages of Begonia and 'water shoot' and 'leaf' of aquatic Utricularia were placed in the morphospace. The more an organ differs from a typical shoot, the further away it will be from the barycentre of shoots. By giving a higher weight to variables used in classical typology, the different organ categories appear to be separate, as expected. If we do not make any particular arbitrary choice in terms of character weighting, as it is the case in the context of dynamic morphology, the clear separation between organs is replaced by a continuum. Contrary to typical structures, "intermediate" structures are only compatible with a dynamic morphology approach whether they are placed in the morphospace based on a ponderation compatible with typology or dynamic morphology. The difference in points of view between typology and continuum leads to a particular mode of weighting. By using an equal weighting of characters, contradictions due to the ponderation of characters are avoided, and the morphological concepts of continuum' and 'typology' appear as sub-classes of 'process' or 'dynamic morphology'.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 25 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Colombia 2 8%
Japan 1 4%
United States 1 4%
Indonesia 1 4%
Unknown 20 80%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Researcher 8 32%
Student > Ph. D. Student 5 20%
Other 2 8%
Student > Bachelor 2 8%
Student > Doctoral Student 2 8%
Other 6 24%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 19 76%
Environmental Science 4 16%
Computer Science 1 4%
Earth and Planetary Sciences 1 4%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 3. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 05 January 2014.
All research outputs
of 12,321,765 outputs
Outputs from Acta Biotheoretica
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Outputs of similar age
of 266,420 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Acta Biotheoretica
of 2 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 12,321,765 research outputs across all sources so far. This one is in the 49th percentile – i.e., 49% of other outputs scored the same or lower than it.
So far Altmetric has tracked 90 research outputs from this source. They receive a mean Attention Score of 2.8. This one has gotten more attention than average, scoring higher than 67% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 266,420 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has gotten more attention than average, scoring higher than 66% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 2 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one.