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The Astrophysical Journal


We investigate the relationship between star formation (SF) and substructure in a sample of 107 nearby galaxy clusters using data from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS). Several past studies of individual galaxy clusters have suggested that cluster mergers enhance cluster SF, while others find no such relationship. The SF fraction in multi-component clusters (0.228 +/- 0.007) is higher than that in single-component clusters (0.175 +/- 0.016) for galaxies with M^0.1_r < -20.5. In both single- and multi-component clusters, the fraction of star-forming galaxies increases with clustercentric distance and decreases with local galaxy number density, and multi-component clusters show a higher SF fraction than single-component clusters at almost all clustercentric distances and local densities. Comparing the SF fraction in individual clusters to several statistical measures of substructure, we find weak, but in most cases significant at greater than 2 sigma, correlations between substructure and SF fraction. These results could indicate that cluster mergers may cause weak but significant SF enhancement in clusters, or unrelaxed clusters exhibit slightly stronger SF due to their less evolved states relative to relaxed clusters.