Population differences in morphological and anatomical traits of Pinus mugo Turra needles from the Polish part of the Tatra Mountains

Ewa M. Pawlaczyk 1 , Alina Bączkiewicz 1 , Piotr Wawrzyniak 1 , Magdalena Czołpińska 1 , Patrycja Gonera 1 , and Katarzyna Buczkowska-Chmielewska 1
  • 1 Adam Mickiewicz University, Department of Genetics, 61–614, Poznań, Poland


The main aim of this study was to describe the variation between the populations of the dwarf mountain pine Pinus mugo Turra based on the morphological and anatomical traits of their needles, and to investigate the relationship between the observed variation and environmental conditions (altitude and substrate). Two-year-old needles were collected from 180 individuals of six populations of P. mugo growing in the Tatra Mts. Two populations were classified as dense, located at 1360–1450 m altitude, and the remaining four formed loose clusters and were situated at 1500–1650 m altitude. Four of the populations are growing on granite and two on a limestone substrate. The natural variation of 10 morpho-anatomical and 3 synthetic needle traits was measured. In addition to descriptive statistics, the analyses of variance (ANOVA) with a Tukey test and principal component analysis were computed. We also estimated Pearson correlation coefficients for the examined needle traits and altitude as well as substrate. Our results indicate that the P. mugo populations differ significantly with regard to the investigated traits for which the Trzydniowiański Wierch population was the most distinct. The observed pattern of variability is largely caused by differences in stomatal traits and these features are positive correlated with altitude. Additionally, populations growing on granite have larger values for most of the examined traits compared to populations growing on limestone.

If the inline PDF is not rendering correctly, you can download the PDF file here.

  • Bączkiewicz A. 1995. Biometrical study of some individuals chosen from Pinus mugo Turra population in peat bog “Bór na Czerwonem”. Acta Societatis Botanicorum Poloniae 1: 71–80.

  • Bączkiewicz A., Prus-Głowacki W. 1997. Variability of Pinus mugo clones from Ostry Wierch peat bog. Acta Societatis Botanicorum Poloniae 66, 1: 79–82.

  • Bączkiewicz A., Prus-Głowacki W. 2005. Morphological and anatomical variability of isozymatically identified clones of Pinus mugo Turra. Acta Biologica Cracoviensia Series Botanica 47(2): 33–40.

  • Bączkiewicz A., Buczkowska K., Wachowiak W. 2005. Anatomical and morphological variability of needles of Pinus mugo Turra on different substrata in the Tatra Mountains. Biological Letters 42(1): 21–32.

  • Bobowicz M. A, Korczyk A. F. 1994. Interpopulational variability of Pinus sylvestris L. in eight Polish populations expressed in morphological and anatomical traits of needles. Acta Societatis Botanicorum Poloniae 63(1): 67–76.

  • Bobowicz M. A., Korczyk A. F. 2000. The variability of the oldest trees of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) from the Białowieża Primeval Forest. II. Individual of needle morphology traits in old-growth Scots pine trees from the Białowieża Primeval Forest as a compared to the variability in eight Polish populations. Biological Bulletin of Poznań 37: 5–15.

  • Bobowicz M. A., Krzakowa M. 1986. Anatomical differences between Pinus mugo Turra populations from the Tatra Mts. expressed in needle traits and in needle and cone traits together. Acta Societatis Botanicorum Poloniae 55(2): 275–290.

  • Boratyńska K. 2002. Needle variability of Pinus mugo Turra in the West Tatra Mts. Dendrobiology 48: 3–8.

  • Boratyńska K., Bobowicz M. A. 2000. Variability of Pinus uncinata Ramond ex DC as expressed in needle traits. Dendrobiology 45: 7–16.

  • Boratyńska K., Bobowicz M. A. 2001. Pinus uncinata Ramond taxonomy based on needle characters. Plant Systematic and Evolution 227: 183–194.

  • Boratyńska K., Pashkevich N. A. 2001. Variability in needle traits of Pinus mugo Turra in the Ukrainian Carpathians. Acta Societatis Botanicorum Poloniae 3: 181–186.

  • Boratyńska K., Jasińska A. K., Boratyński A. 2015. Taxonomic and geographic differentiation of Pinus mugo complex on the needle characteristics. Systematics and Biodiversity. DOI:10.1080/14772000.2015.1058300.

  • Boratyńska K., Marcysiak K., Boratyński A. 2005. Pinus mugo (Pinaceae) in the Abruzzi Mountains: high morphological variation in isolated populations. Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society 147: 309–316.

  • Boratyńska K., Muchewicz E., Drojma M. 2004. Pinus mugo Turra geographic differentiation based on needle characters. Dendrobiology 51: 9–17.

  • Boratyńska K., Dzialuk A., Lewandowski A., Marcysiak K., Jasińska A. K., Sobierajska K., Tomaszewski D., Burczyk J., Boratyński A. 2014. Geographic distribution of quantitative traits variation and genetic variability in natural populations of Pinus mugo in Central Europe. Dendrobiology 72:65–84. DOI: 10.12657/denbio.072.006.

  • Christensen K. I. 1987a. Taxonomic revision of Pinus mugo complex and P. x rhaetica (P. mugo x sylvestris) (Pinaceae). Nordic Journal of Botany 7: 383–408.

  • Christensen K. I. 1987b. Atypical cone and leaf character states in Pinus mugo Turra, P. sylvestris L., and P. x rhaetica Brügger (Pinaceae). Gleditschia 15(1): 1–5.

  • Ferguson G. A., Takane Y. 2009. Analiza statystyczna w psychologii i pedagogice. Wydawnictwo Naukowe PWN, Warszawa.

  • Kmeť J., Lukáčik I., Tomanová S. 1994. Bioindication of the stress on needles of mountain pine (Pinus mugo) at different altitudes. Acta Facultatis Forestalis Zvolen 36: 41–50.

  • Lukáčik I., Repáč I. 1992. Evaluation of growth of seedlings of Swiss mountain pine knee-pine (Pinus mugo) upon various substrata. Acta Facultatis Forestalis Zvolen 34: 127–135.

  • Łomnicki A. 2014. Wprowadzenie do statystyki dla przyrodników. Wydawnictwo Naukowe PWN, Warszawa.

  • Marcet E. 1967.Über den Nachweis spontaner Hybriden von Pinus mugo Turra und Pinussylvestris L. auf Grund von Nadelmerkmalen. Bericht der Schweizerischen Botanischen Gesellschaft 77: 314–361.

  • Pawlaczyk E. M., Bobowicz M. A., Korczyk A. F. 2010. Variability of three natural populations of Pinus sylvestris L. from different sites of Białowieża Primeval Forest estimated using needle traits. Forest Research Papers 71(1): 83–92. DOI: 10.2478/v10111-010-0006-1.

  • Piękoś-Mirkowa H., Mirek Z., Miechówka A. 1996. Endemic vascular plants in the Polish Tatra Mts. distribution and ecology. Polish Botanical Studies 12: 1–107.

  • Staszkiewicz J. 1993. Variability of Pinus mugo x Pinus sylvestris (Pinaceae) hybrid swarm in the Tisovnica nature reserve (Slovakia). Polish Botanical Studies 5: 33–41.

  • Triola M. F. 1998. Elementary statistics. Addison-Wesley Longman, Boston.

  • Urbaniak L. 1998. Zróżnicowanie geograficzne sosny zwyczajnej (Pinus sylvestris L.) z terenu Eurazji na podstawie cech anatomicznych i morfologicznych igieł. Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu im. Adama Mickiewicza, Poznań. Ser. Biol. nr 58, p.142.

  • Urbaniak L., Karlinski L., Popielarz R. 2003. Variation of morphological needle characters of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) populations in different habitats. Acta Societatis Botanicorum Poloniae 72(1): 37–44.


Journal + Issues