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Abstracts of volume 88, 2016

Kirschner J., Oplaat C., Verhoeven K. J. F., Zeisek V., Uhlemann I., Trávníček B., Räsänen J., Wilschut R. A. & Štěpánek J. (2016): Identification of oligoclonal agamospermous microspecies: taxonomic specialists versus microsatellites. – Preslia 88: 1–17.
There has been a decrease in the ability of biologists to identify their material correctly, particularly plants of complicated genera with common agamospermy, where old clonal entities are accorded the rank of species (microspecies). Agamospermous microspecies are taxonomic entities recognizable from one another by a set of minute morphological features. The knowledge of microspecies is confined to a few specialists. Specialists use microspecies names but there could be inconsistencies in the taxonomic concepts used by different, geographically remote experts. A selection of nine widespread, generally recognized agamospermous microspecies of Taraxacum sect. Taraxacum, which are characterized by means of eight microsatellite loci, were used to evaluate the ability of four European Taraxacum specialists to identify these microspecies consistently. With two exceptions (and one unclear result) for 125 plants coming from an area extending from Finland to central Europe, the experts identified the microspecies consistently, exclusively on the basis of morphological differences. Another problem studied was within-species variation. The within-species microsatellite variation corresponded to the mutational clone cluster hypothesis, with a single unclear result. Each microspecies consisted of one, more or less dominant, clone and several minority clones, each usually confined to a single plant. A combination of the traditional microspecies identification by experts and the characterization of microspecies by a set of molecular markers opens the field of microtaxonomy to a wider group of researchers.
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Kliment J., Turis P. & Janišová M. (2016): Taxa of vascular plants endemic to the Carpathian Mts. – Preslia 88: 19–76.
A briefly annotated survey of vascular plants endemic and subendemic to the Carpathians is presented based on a critical revision of published and unpublished data on contemporary taxonomic and chorological knowledge. The habitat preferences and ecological niche breadths of nonapomictic endemic and subendemic taxa were also evaluated. The area studied included the Carpathian Mts located mainly in Slovakia, Poland, Ukraine and Romania, reaching also Austria, Czech Republic, Hungary and Serbia. Five equivalent subunits were distinguished within the Carpathians: the Western Carpathians, Eastern Carpathians, Southern Carpathians, Apuseni Carpathians and the Transylvanian Basin. The final evaluation of endemic status was made for 631 taxa of vascular plants, including 420 taxa confirmed as endemic or subendemic to the Carpathians and their subunits, 67 taxa with unclear taxonomy or distribution, 69 taxa with a wider distribution outside the Carpathians, 58 taxa included in superior taxa with a wider nonendemic distribution and 17 hybrids. The final list of endemic and subendemic taxa includes 146 species, 104 subspecies and 170 microspecies of apomictic genera (including 83 taxa of Alchemilla, 64 taxa of Hieracium, 2 of Pilosella, 16 of Sorbus and 5 of Taraxacum). The overall number of endemic and subendemic taxa in individual Carpathian subunits is as follows (counts including apomictic genera are in parentheses): Western Carpathians: 89 (198) endemics, 19 (21) subendemics; Eastern Carpathians: 118 (152) endemics, 25 (27) subendemics; Southern Carpathians: 113 (149) endemics, 24 (24) subendemics; Apuseni Carpathians: 45 (49) endemics, 19 (19) subendemics; Transylvanian Basin: 5 (5) endemics, 12 (12) subendemics. Grassland habitats were the richest in endemic and subendemic taxa (containing 33% of all included taxa), followed by rocky habitats (22%), forests (16%) and shrublands (11%). Wetlands (7%), dwarf shrubs (6%) and human-made habitats (5%) hosted the lowest number of (sub) endemic taxa. The habitats with the highest frequency of taxa (sub)endemic to the Carpathian Mts are those with a calcareous bedrock and phytosociologically classified within the classes Elyno-Seslerietea, Mulgedio-Aconitetea, Thlaspietea rotundifolii, Asplenietea trichomanis, Carici rupestris- Kobresietea bellardii and Festuco-Brometea. The niche breadth of the Carpathian (sub)endemic taxa is related to the sizes of their ranges (eurychoric taxa had the broadest niches and micro- and stenochoric taxa had the narrowest). About 60% of the (sub)endemic taxa are habitat specialists restricted to only 1–3 habitats within one or two habitat groups.
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Kobrlová L., Hroneš M., Koutecký P., Štech M. & Trávníček B. (2016): Symphytum tuberosum complex in central Europe: cytogeography, morphology, ecology and taxonomy. – Preslia 88: 77–112.
The Symphytum tuberosum complex is a highly polyploid and taxonomically intriguing group. At least eight ploidy levels were recorded previously within this complex. Based on flow cytometric screening of 271 central-European populations, two dominant ploidy levels were revealed: tetraploid (2n = 4x = 32) and widespread dodecaploid (2n = 12x = 96). The tetraploid cytotype is mainly distributed along the southern and south-western margins of the West Carpathians where they abut the Pannonian basin, and found only in Slovakia, the Czech Republic (south-eastern Moravia) and Hungary; our findings represent the first records of this ploidy level for the latter two countries. In contrast, the dodecaploid cytotype occurs throughout the whole area studied. In addition to their geographic distributions, differences between the cytotypes in morphology and habitat requirements were detected using a multivariate morphometric analysis and analysis of a phytosociological database, respectively. Based on this information and taking certain overlaps in morphological traits and habitat requirements into account, we propose treating the dominant cytotypes as subspecies: S. tuberosum subsp. tuberosum (dodecaploids) and S. tuberosum subsp. angustifolium (tetraploids). In some populations, aneuploids and several minority ploidy levels were also detected, including DNA-hexaploids (only within populations of tetraploids), DNA decaploids and DNA-tetradecaploids (both only within populations of dodecaploids).
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Mereďa P. Jr., Kučera J., Marhold K., Senko D., Slovák M., Svitok M., Šingliarová B. & Hodálová I. (2016): Ecological niche differentiation between tetra- and octoploids of Jacobaea vulgaris. – Preslia 88: 113–136.
Polyploid speciation is an ongoing, important source of angiosperm diversity. However, the ecogeographical differences between polyploids and their lower-ploid progenitors remain poorly understood. Here we explore patterns in the distributions of three Jacobaea vulgaris ploidy levels (4x, 6x and 8x) in Slovakia, which involved sampling at 203 sites and collecting information on the ploidy levels/chromosome numbers of 1023 individuals. For a subset of sites (171), we analysed the ecological differentiation between the two major ploidy levels, the tetra- and octoploids, which are recognized as separate subspecies, J. vulgaris subsp. vulgaris (2n = 4x = 40) and its autopolyploid derivative J. vulgaris subsp. pannonica (2n = 8x = 80). At most of the sites sampled (89.7%) only one ploidy level (subspecies) was recorded. Only 1.4% of the plants analysed were of the minority (6x) ploidy level and they occurred only together with plants of other ploidy level(s). The two major ploidy levels (subspecies) occurred in slightly different environments based on the 123 environmental variables studied. Separation of ploidy levels was mostly associated with type of habitat, habitat naturalness, geology, altitude, precipitation and temperature. In contrast to tetraploids, octoploids are restricted to warm and dry locations at low altitudes and in areas little affected by man. Despite the ecological niche separation between tetra- and octoploids along habitat and climatic gradients, and the more widespread distribution of tetraploids in the area studied, the ecological niche breadths of the two ploidy levels in Slovakia do not differ significantly.
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Szczepaniak M., Kamiński R., Kuta E., Słomka A., Heise W. & Cieślak E. (2016): Natural hybridization between Gladiolus palustris and G. imbricatus inferred from morphological, molecular and reproductive evidence. – Preslia 88: 137–161.
While studying the extremely rare species, Gladiolus palustris, in Poland, putative hybrid plants were discovered. Natural hybridization between G. palustris and G. imbricatus was confirmed by chloroplast (psbA-trnH and rpl32-trnL) DNA and nuclear ribosomal DNA (ITS1) sequences, AFLP markers and macro-, micromorphological and reproductive characters. Based on molecular data, the hybridization events are likely to have occurred relatively recently with G. palustris as the maternal species and G. imbricatus as the pollen donor in interspecific crosses. The existence of a shared common cpDNA haplotype in all hybrids and G. palustris indicates unidirectional hybridization. A new nothospecies, G. ×sulistrovicus, is described. Analyses of AFLP data and polymorphisms of ITS1 sequences showed additive inheritance of parental genomic fragments in G. ×sulistrovicus. The hybrids exhibited either morphological similarity to G. imbricatus or intermediateness in phenotypic characters. The corm structure of flowering plants and seed capsules clearly distinguish the hybrid. The new taxon is characterized by a lower generative reproduction than the parental species, however hybrids produce ~50% viable pollen and seeds, which allows them to produce subsequent hybrid generations. The weak generative reproduction was enhanced by highly efficient vegetative propagation. The western part of the Balkan Peninsula and adjacent areas (Croatia, Bosnia and Hercegovina, Serbia, northern Italy) and central Europe (Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, eastern Austria, Hungary) are the most likely areas where G. ×sulistrovicus will occur. Hybridity in the context of G. palustris conservation is discussed.
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Pergl J., Sádlo J., Petřík P., Danihelka J., Chrtek Jr., Hejda M., Moravcová L., Perglová I., Štajerová K. &Pyšek P. (2016): Dark side of the fence: ornamental plants as a source of wild-growing flora in the Czech Republic. – Preslia 88: 163–184.
Ornamental plants constitute an important source of alien, and potentially invasive species, but also include a substantial part of native flora and consist of taxa that occur both in the wild and in cultivation; yet garden floras are largely ignored in ecological studies. We studied ornamental plants in the Czech Republic in order to provide detailed information, based on field sampling, on the diversity of taxa grown in cultivation in private gardens. Sampling was done in accessible public areas, private gardens and private areas in villages, town- and city neighbourhoods, garden allotments, cemeteries, areas of dispersed farmhouse settlements not accessible to the public, and in new urban sprawl. The data can be used to estimate the propagule pressure of individual taxa, measured in terms of the frequency with which they are planted in the gardens. To make the data comparable across sites, we adopted a two-level approach that resulted in producing a detailed list (including all the taxa recorded) and an aggregated list (merging closely related and similar taxa, which was necessary in order to assess the frequency of planting across sites). Each species on the detailed list was assigned an origin, status, life history and cultivation requirements. Comparing the field records with national checklists of both native and alien vascular plants we quantified particular components of the ornamental flora. The floristic inventories for 174 sites yielded 1842 taxa on the detailed list, consisting of 1642 species (standard binomials), 9 cultivars assigned to genera, 147 hybrids and hybridogenous taxa, and 44 taxa identified at higher than species level. Of these taxa 1417 (76.9%) were alien and 420 (22.8%) native. The ornamental flora consisted of not-escaping aliens, escaping aliens and cultivated natives. Of the recorded taxa, 841 (45.6%) occur both in cultivation and the wild. The aggregated list comprised 1514 taxa and resulted from merging 533 taxa from the detailed list into 205 taxa. Most alien ornamentals are native to Asia and Americas. The proportion of escaped and not-escaping aliens significantly differed from wild aliens in the spontaneous flora with underrepresentation of escaped, which originated from Australia, Africa and the Mediterranean area. Taxa from Africa and anecophytes were overrepresented and those from Australia, the Mediterranean and other parts of Europe underrepresented among not escaping aliens. The assessment of planting frequency revealed that 270 taxa were found at more than 25% of the sites, while 584 (40%) occurred at only one or two sites. Winter annuals and shrubs are most represented among the commonly planted aliens; the only native species with comparably high planting frequencies among the aliens, are Vinca minor, Hedera helix and Aquilegia vulgaris. Related to the invasion potential of ornamental garden flora we analysed the recorded taxa with respect to the transient/persistent character of their occurrence. The core (persistent) part of the flora comprised 599 taxa (32% of the total number of taxa) and the transient 240 (13%) taxa. The “grey zone” between the two included 1003 taxa (55%). The results reported here provide quantitative insights into the role of horticulture as a major pathway of plant invasions.
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Berg C., Drescher A., Wagner V. & Essl F. (2016): Temporal trends in the invasions of Austrian woodlands by alien trees. – Preslia 88: 185–200.
Invasion of different habitats differs greatly with that of temperate woodlands being characterized by relatively low levels of invasion. However, evidence is accumulating that alien species of trees are increasingly colonizing woodlands, in particular floodplain woodlands. Here, we used 346 stratified relevés (154 plots in floodplain and 192 in non-floodplain woodlands) sampled between 1950–2014, combined with a control dataset of 369 uninvaded plots (97 plots in floodplain and 272 in non-floodplain woodlands), to analyse the invasion over time of Austrian woodlands by alien species of trees. The most frequent alien species of trees were Robinia pseudoacacia, Acer negundo and Ailanthus altissima. In addition, eight species of alien trees were recorded infrequently at the end of the study period. The average cover of alien trees has steadily increased since 1950.While the proportions of alien trees in floodplain relevés were significantly higher in 1950 than in non-floodplain relevés, the spread of alien trees was more pronounced in the latter. Average cover of native trees in the tree layer decreased over time in non-floodplain relevés, while for floodplain woodlands there was no temporal trend. Since 1950, indicators of human impact (mean levels of hemeroby and urbanophily) increased in both habitats, particularly in non-floodplain woodland, but remained stable in the control dataset. The frequency of nitrophilous and drought-tolerating species increased in non-floodplain and floodplain woodland, respectively, but both trends were also recorded in the control dataset. Further, changes in altitude and proportion of thermophilous species over time could indicate an effect of global warming. Our results point to anthropogenic habitat destruction, climate change, propagule pressure and deliberate planting of alien trees as the main drivers of alien tree invasions in the region studied.
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Lengyel A., Illyés E., Bauer N., Csiky J., Király G., Purger D. & Botta-Dukát Z. (2016): Classification and syntaxonomical revision of mesic and semi-dry grasslands in Hungary. – Preslia 88: 201–228.
Mesic and semi-dry grasslands are among the most valuable and species-rich anthropogenic habitats in Hungary. In contrast to the high respect with which they are regarded by conservationists, the diversity of this vegetation and its syntaxonomy were neglected for a long time. In this paper we present the first country-level synthesis and syntaxonomical review of this vegetation based on the numerical classification of the Arrhenatheretalia order, and an update of Brometalia erecti. After careful data selection and resampling, we classified 1204 relevés to 60 clusters. Clusters representing the same association were merged on the basis of a minimum spanning tree and expert assessment of their species composition. Species composition, geographical distribution and environmental background of each mesic and semi-dry grassland association are discussed. The relationships of associations were also examined by ordination. Evaluation of clusters and associations were based only on those relevés that were unambiguously classified. We recognized 11 associations in the Arrhenatheretalia order in two alliances. In the Arrhenatherion alliance, several new association names are adopted from the literature of other countries, and a new one is proposed. According to our concept, Arrhenatherion includes Ranunculo-Alopecuretum, a mesohygrophilous type; Filipendulo-Arrhenatheretum and Anthoxantho-Festucetum pratensis, which are typical for meadows of fluctuating soil water level but have a different geographic distribution; Pastinaco-Arrhenatheretum, that is a widespread mesic meadow with many generalist species; Ranunculo bulbosi-Arrhenatheretum containing drought-tolerant and less nutrient-demanding species; Tanaceto-Arrhenatheretum, a semi-ruderal type; and Diantho-Arrhenatheretum, that harbours many species of montane meadows. In the Cynosurion, four associations are distinguished. Cynosuro-Lolietum is an intensively grazed type on nutrient-rich, mesic or moist soil in humid climates; Alopecuro-Festucetum pseudovinae is also a heavily grazed type, but in areas with a more continental climate and on packed soil. Anthoxantho-Festucetum pseudovinae and Colchico-Festucetum rupicolae are lowland mesic pastures that contain some xerophilous species, however, they differ in grazing intensity and regional species pool. Two associations of Cirsio-Brachypodion transitional towards more mesic types are detected for the first time in Hungary: Filipendulo-Brometum with sub-Atlantic distribution and Brachypodio-Molinietum with a more montane and Carpathian distribution.We also recognized Sanguisorbo-Brometum, that is a common semi-dry grassland type on rocky soils in Transdanubia; Polygalo-Brachypodietum, a colline type with many Pontic species; Trifolio-Brachypodietum, an association of more forested and montane landscapes, and Euphorbio-Brachypodietum, the semi-dry grassland type of Pannonian loess regions. We concluded it is unlikely that Phyteumo-Trisetion and Bromion erecti occur in Hungary.
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Kaplan Z., Danihelka J., Štěpánková J., Ekrt L., Chrtek J. Jr., Zázvorka J., Grulich V., Řepka R., Prančl J., Ducháček M., Kúr P., Šumberová K. & Brůna J. (2016): Distributions of vascular plants in the Czech Republic. Part 2. – Preslia 88: 229–322.
The second part of the publication series on the distributions of vascular plants in the Czech Republic includes grid maps of 87 taxa of the genera Antennaria, Aposeris, Astragalus, Avenula, Bidens, Carex, Cenchrus, Centunculus, Convallaria, Crocus, Cryptogramma, Cyperus, Dryopteris, Gladiolus, Gratiola, Helictochloa, Hierochloë, Lindernia, Maianthemum, Myriophyllum, Notholaena, Nymphoides, Radiola, Schoenoplectus, Sisyrinchium, Spergularia, Tillaea, Veratrum and Veronica. The maps were produced by taxonomic experts based on all available herbarium, literature and field records. The plants studied include 56 taxa registered in the Red List of vascular plants of the Czech Republic, some of which showed remarkable declines. Astragalus arenarius, Hierochloë odorata and H. repens, as representatives of vegetation of inland sand dunes, are critically threatened due to conversion of their habitats to arable land, local sand mining, afforestation, changes in landscape management and eutrophication followed by succession. Each of them survives at a few localities and their populations are poor. Competitively weak wetland annuals, confined to open habitats such as exposed fishpond littorals and river beds, abandoned sand-pits and wet arable fields, have considerably declined and disappeared from large areas as a result of agriculture and fish-farming intensification, in particular fertilization and restriction of summer drainage of fishponds, and other changes in land-use. These include Centunculus minimus, Cyperus flavescens, C. michelianus, Lindernia procumbens, Radiola linoides and Tillaea aquatica. Observed recently at a few sites only, they are all classified as critically threatened. A map is for the first time provided also for Spergularia kurkae, a newly recognized species and a central-European endemic. Astragalus asper, Schoenoplectus supinus and Veronica pumila are now extirpated from the country’s flora. In contrast, Spergularia marina, until recently confined to natural saline habitats and very rare, has been spreading along roads that are treated by de-icing salts. Examination of an old herbarium voucher showed that the only record of Astragalus alopecuroides in the Czech flora actually refers to the species whose correct name is A. alopecurus. Further introduced casuals mapped in this paper include Bidens pilosus, Cenchrus echinatus, Gratiola neglecta and Lindernia dubia, each introduced to only a few sites. Bidens connatus was recorded at two dozen sites and appears to have spread as a consequence of the great floods in 2002. Typical examples of naturalized neophytes are Veronica filiformis and V. peregrina, both currently known from many parts of the country. Invasive aliens are represented by Bidens frondosus, which began to spread in the 1930s and now is frequent throughout the country. Spatial and temporal dynamics of individual species are shown in maps and documented by records included in the Pladias database and available in Electronic appendices. The maps are accompanied by comments, which include additional information on distribution, habitats, taxonomy and biology of the species.
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Doležal J., Lehečková E., Sohar K. & Altman J. (2016): Oak decline induced by mistletoe, competition and climate change: a case study from central Europe. – Preslia 88: 323–346.
It is predicted that rising temperatures and extreme summer droughts will adversely affect the growth of pedunculate oak (Quercus robur) and contribute to local population decline. Furthermore, such oaks may become prone to infestation with mistletoe (Loranthus europaeus) and competition from neighbouring trees. We tested these predictions in the warm, south-eastern part of the Czech Republic, a drought-prone area where oaks die prematurely. We compared the radial growth patterns of eight categories of oaks differing in age (younger or older than 60 years), presence of neighbouring trees (solitary versus grouped) and infestation with mistletoe (infested versus healthy), and their responses to variation in both annual and intra-annual temperature (T) and precipitation (P). We analysed long-term data from tree rings and detailed dendrometer records of daily increments using moving correlations and regression trees. Oak growth is affected by (i) dry and cold winters, resulting in root damage and water shortages during summer, (ii) a cool and wet March–April, hampering the onset of earlywood growth, and (iii) a hot and dry May–July period, reducing latewood formation. Latewood width increases when February P > 55 mm, March T > 3.3 °C, April P < 60 mm, May P > 50 mm, June T < 19 °C and August P > 40 mm. Latewood width decreases with tree age, mistletoe infestation and competition from neighbouring trees. These factors are responsible for different climate–growth responses. Infested oaks develop less latewood if T in June–July is high and this is associated with drought. In healthy oaks May P determines how quickly earlywood growth is completed and hence when latewood formation starts. Grouped trees that compete for soil water are more prone to June–July droughts but less harmed by cold springs than solitary oaks. Dendrometer records show that the net daily increments (ΔR) recorded for oaks growing in groups are mainly associated with water deficit, whereas those of solitary oaks with high summer T, which fluctuates more in open landscape than in woods, resulting in a reduced number of days with a positive ΔR. However, under optimal conditions (soil moisture > 20%, mean daily T 10–20 °C), the ΔR phase recorded for solitary oaks is longer than for oaks in groups, which results in greater annual increments. Hence, the differences between solitary oaks and those in groups is due to a difference in the period of time they spend growing rather than the speed of growth. Infested oaks have smaller ΔRs and annual increments because they grow for a shorter period rather than differences in metabolic activity. These results provide support for the crucial role of climate change (decline in rainfall and increase in summer temperatures over the last three decades) and biotic interactions (mistletoe hemiparasites, inter-tree competition) in oak growth and population decline.
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Šmilauerová M. & Šmilauer P. (2016): Functional groups affect seedling survival both through a negative soil feedback and changes in abiotic conditions. – Preslia 88: 347–368.
Seedling establishment, growth and survival are influenced by the competition from neighbouring plants for resources and their effect on the environment, including plant–soil feedback. Do species-level mechanisms operate at the functional group level? We used a long-term removal experiment in a temperate grassland to study seedling survival and growth of two forb species and two species of grass in plots with either, only forb, only grass or mixture of grass and forb plants. The seedlings were followed for 16 months and environmental factors measured. All species survived best and grew larger in plots with plants of the same functional group. The largest differences in seedling survival between grass and forb plots were recorded in winter. We therefore carried out an additional experiment that focused on the effects of above-ground biomass and plant–soil feedback on overwintering of seedlings. Removal of above-ground plant biomass at the beginning of winter increased seedling survival of all four species in grass plots, but only of the forb species in forb plots. Negative plant–soil feedback was detected only for forbs during the winter experiment. At a finer scale in the main experiment, an increasing abundance of conspecific neighbours (of the same functional group) had a negative effect on seedling survival, but in some cases had a positive effect on seedling size. The environmental conditions measured were generally more favourable for seedling establishment in the forb plots (higher PhAR transmission and R/FR ratio in early spring, lower summer soil–surface temperatures, higher soil moisture throughout the season, higher long-term nitrate flow), but in the grass plots seedling establishment was probably enhanced by a higher spatial heterogeneity. Our results indicate that seedlings of both functional groups thrive better among plants of the other functional group, although reasons differ for the two functional groups compared: negative plant–soil feedback effect on the forb functional group combined with a negative effect of biomass and the high spatial heterogeneity in the grass plots.
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Frajman B., Graniszewska M. & Schönswetter P. (2016): Evolutionary patterns and morphological diversification within the European members of the Euphorbia illirica (E. villosa) group: one or several species? – Preslia 88: 369–390.
The Alps and the Carpathians are important centres of plant endemism in Europe, but there are fewer phylogenetic studies on the patterns in biodiversity of Carpathian biota than there are for the Alps. Here, we use nuclear ribosomal ITS, the plastid trnT–trnF region and amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) fingerprinting to determine the phylogenetic position of and relationships within the Euphorbia illirica group and determine the biogeographic links between the Alps and the Carpathians. In addition, we use morphometric data to re-evaluate the controversial taxonomic status of several endemic taxa belonging to this group. ITS and AFLP data indicate that E. austriaca, E.beskidensis”, E. carpatica, E. semivillosa, E. sojakii and E. illirica (E. villosa) are members of the E. illirica group and E. palustris is their sister, whereas in the plastid dataset E. palustris is nested within the E. illirica group. Additionally, AFLP data indicate a genetic split into two geographical groups, one including Carpathian populations and the other comprising all other populations. The split thus supports the role of the Carpathians as an important Pleistocene refugium, but does not offer support for traditionally recognized taxa within the group. Moreover, the previously suggested biogeographic link between the Alpine E. austriaca and the Carpathian E. sojakii is not supported by molecular data. Instead, it appears likely that the similar morphology of subalpine populations in the E. illirica group developed in parallel in both genetic groups, in E. austriaca in the north-eastern Alps and independently in the Carpathian high altitude taxa. Morphometric analyses show strong overlap both among the taxa and between the two genetic groups, which, in connection with the morphological plasticity of the group, prevents recognition of morphologically identifiable evolutionary units. It thus seems reasonable to treat the members of this group as a single polymorphic species, E. illirica, following the concept proposed in Flora Europaea.
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Kúr P., Košnar J., Koutecký P., Tremetsberger K. & Štech M. (2016): Origin of Spergularia ×kurkae, a hybrid between the rare endemic S. echinosperma and its widespread congener S. rubra. – Preslia 88: 391–407.
The origin of Spergularia ×kurkae, a presumed tetraploid hybrid between the diploid central- European endemic S. echinosperma and its widespread tetraploid congener S. rubra, was investigated by sequencing the nrDNA ITS region and cpDNA rpoC1 intron. Spergularia echinosperma and S. rubra differed markedly in their ITS sequences. The presence of both sequences within the genome of S. ×kurkae confirmed its hybrid origin and parentage; cpDNA sequences identified S. echinosperma as the sole maternal parent. Because both parental ITS homeologs were clearly visible in the sequences of almost all of the S. ×kurkae individuals, we conclude that this taxon is of a relatively young age. We hypothesize that S. ×kurkae might have evolved as a result of human-mediated introduction of S. rubra into fishponds. Cross-amplification of species-specific ITS primers revealed high levels of intra-individual ITS polymorphisms in S. echinosperma and S. rubra. Our results suggest ongoing gene flow from S. ×kurkae to S. rubra. In contrast, no evidence of gene flow from S. ×kurkae or S. rubra to S. echinosperma was found, providing, despite concerns, no support for the threat of the genetic assimilation of S. echinosperma. Our current data also support the view of S. kurkae as a stabilized, separate allopolyploid species.
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Abraham V., Kuneš P., Petr L., Svitavská Svobodová H., Kozáková R., Jamrichová E., Švarcová M. G. & Pokorný P. (2016): A pollen-based quantitative reconstruction of the Holocene vegetation updates a perspective on the natural vegetation in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. – Preslia 88: 409–434.
The primary aim of this paper is to provide a pollen-based quantitative reconstruction of Holocene vegetation in order to update a perspective on natural vegetation in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. As a secondary aim we compare composition of this reconstructed Holocene vegetation with the composition of potential natural vegetation (PNV sensu Neuhäuslová et al. 1998) in the area studied. Based on 87 individual pollen sequences, we estimate the changes in Holocene vegetation that have occurred in nine circular regions, each 60km in radius. We obtained estimates of regional vegetation using the REVEALS model (Regional Estimates of VEgetation Abundance from Large Sites). This model considers pollen productivity, dispersal and taphonomic differences between taxa. The development of post-glacial vegetation can be divided into three general phases: Early, Middle and Late Holocene. Clustering of the interregional variability clearly separated lowlands from middle altitudes and mountains. The Early Holocene was dominated by semi-open pine forest in nearly all the regions studied. Mixed oak woodlands appeared in the Middle Holocene and only in the lowlands, while the rest of the area studied was dominated by spruce (> 32%) forest. The percentage of spruce remained high (> 19%) in fir-beech forests of the Late Holocene. The dominance and co-dominance of spruce at middle and high altitudes during the Middle and Late Holocene differs most from previous interpretations of pollen percentages. We attribute this to the climatic and edaphic conditions differing from those in other parts of central Europe at a similar altitude. Continuous presence of Poaceae (> 9%) and pioneer trees during the entire Holocene ( Pinus > 6%) indicates an important role of factors sustaining their long-term abundance, be it herbivory, fire or other kinds of disturbance, natural and/or anthropogenic. The PNV composition, compared to estimates of Holocene vegetation for AD 500–1000, assumes a larger representation of broadleaved taxa (Fagus, Carpinus and Quercus) at the expense of Picea. In spite of the high compositional difference between PNV and Holocene vegetation for AD 500–1000, we found a relationship between the naturalness of present-day vegetation as estimated by PNV and the compositional turnover from AD 500–1000 to the present day. This indicates that quantitative palynology and phytosociology have the potential to produce complementary results and their combination can contribute to a more integrated perspective on natural vegetation.
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Ujházyová M., Ujházy K., Chytrý M., Willner W., Čiliak M., Máliš F. & Slezák M. (2016): Diversity of beech forest vegetation in the Eastern Alps, Bohemian Massif and the Western Carpathians. – Preslia 88: 435–457.
This study compares species composition, local species richness, beta diversity and species pool of beech-dominated forests in three main mountain systems in central Europe. We used a recently compiled representative data set of 5946 vegetation plots recorded in the Eastern Alps, Bohemian Massif and Western Carpathians. Effects of bedrock type, region, altitude and spatial variables represented by PCNM (principal coordinates of neighbour matrices) axes were analyzed. All the predictor variables studied had highly significant effects on species composition. Effect of altitude was largely independent of effects of bedrock and regions, which shared the majority of explained variation in species composition. Spatial (PCNM) variables together accounted for the largest part of the variation in species composition. Communities on carbonate bedrock were differentiated by numerous calcicolous species. Within the group of silicate bedrock types, beech forests on volcanic rocks were differentiated by occurrence of a set of eutrophic and nitrophilous species. The Alps and the Carpathians were similar in species pool size, beta diversity and increasing species richness with altitude, which is related to extensive areas of carbonate bedrock at high altitudes in these mountain systems. The highest local species richness occurred at high altitudes in the Alps. Beech forests in the Alps were floristically well differentiated from the other regions by a group of species restricted to this region, which is probably a consequence of the postglacial migration history. Limited species richness and species pool were found to be typical of the Bohemian Massif; they seem to be partly linked to predominance of siliceous bedrock in this region and partly to the greater distance to beech-forest glacial refugia.
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Kaplan Z., Danihelka J., Lepší M., Lepší P., Ekrt L., Chrtek J. Jr., Kocián J., Prančl J., Kobrlová L., Hroneš M. & Šulc V. (2016): Distributions of vascular plants in the Czech Republic. Part 3. – Preslia 88: 459–544.
The third part of the publication series on the distributions of vascular plants in the Czech Republic includes grid maps of 105 taxa of the genera Acorus, Amelanchier, Asplenium, Calla, Cerastium, Ceratophyllum, Eichhornia, Hieracium, Hippuris, Hottonia, Lemna, Limosella, Peplis, Pistia, Pontederia, Sorbus, Spirodela, Symphytum, Trapa, Valerianella and Wolffia. The maps were produced by taxonomic experts based on all available herbarium, literature and field records. Three of the studied genera include Czech endemics, which are confined to small geographic areas, mostly have small population sizes and thus are of conservation concern. These maps resulted from detailed fieldwork and herbarium revisions by monographers of the respective groups and for many of these endemics they are first available maps. The endemic species of Hieracium occur mainly in the subalpine habitats in the Krkonoše, Králický Sněžník and Hrubý Jeseník Mts. By contrast, a great majority of Sorbus endemics are found mainly in thermophilous open broad-leaved and pine forests on rocky habitats at middle altitudes. Cerastium alsinifolium is confined in its total distribution to serpentine outcrops in western Bohemia. Asplenium is another ecologically specialized group, which includes petrophytes, some of which are restricted to specific substrates, such as siliceous, limestone, basalt or serpentine rocks. The plants studied include 53 taxa classified in the Red List of vascular plants of the Czech Republic, some of which have shown remarkable declines. Symphytum bohemicum, distributed mainly in central Europe, is confined to calcareous fens in the lowlands. There are many endangered and vulnerable species amongst aquatic plants, which are threatened mainly by fish-farming intensification, eutrophication and habitat destruction. Populations of some of the most endangered and attractive aquatics, including Hippuris vulgaris and Trapa natans, have been lost and locally replaced by plants of unknown provenance purchased in garden stores, which causes a potential threat of genetic erosion of native populations. Attractive appearance is the reason why alien aquatics, such as Eichhornia crassipes, Pistia stratiotes and Pontederia cordata, are sometimes planted not only in garden pools but also in wetlands in the countryside; each has been recorded at about a dozen such sites during the past 25 years. Lemna turionifera, by contrast, has been introduced and dispersed by waterfowl and is now widespread in the country. The histories of the introduction and subsequent spread are also described and analysed for the widespread neophyte Acorus calamus and for the alien species of Amelanchier and Symphytum. Spatial distributions and temporal dynamics of individual species are shown in maps and documented by records included in the Pladias database and available in electronic appendices. The maps are accompanied by comments, which include additional information on the distribution, habitats, taxonomy and biology of the species.
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