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  • Author: Helena Więcław x
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Morphological variability of the Carex oederi s. l. inflorescence

The most variable features describing Carex oederi s. l. include: (i) the distance between two lower female spikes, (ii) the length of the peduncle of a lower female spike, (iii) the distance between two upper female spikes, (iv) the length of inflorescence and peduncle of a male spike. Most of observed stems had (3)4-5 female spikes, which were crowded around a sessile and short male spike. Specimens with fewer female spikes (2-3) were characterized generally by their loose positioning on a stem (occasionally a lower female spike was distant and had a peduncle) and the presence of usually longer male spikes on a peduncle. In conclusion, C. oederi s. l. is highly variable morphologically. In the investigated materials, there are no apparent discontinuities. Further (planned) biometric research will be extended to the characteristics of the perygynium and vegetative features.


Sedges of Carex flava agg., typical of moist or wet habitats, are difficult to classify because of a lack of clear-cut morphological differences between them and the existence of numerous hybrids. This monograph presents results of research conducted in 2007-2012 in various parts of Poland. The plant material consisted of 1852 living specimens of Carex flava agg., collected from 80 localities, and dried specimens from 26 herbaria and from 7 private collections. The analysis involved 45 morphological characters (34 quantitative and 11 qualitative) and 9 soil parameters. Univariate, bivariate, and multivariate statistical methods were used to process the data. The results confirm the taxonomic classification dividing the C. flava group into 4 species: C. flava s.s., C. lepidocarpa, C. demissa, and C. viridula. This classification is based on (i) a high observed level of morphological separation of these taxa, resulting mostly from differences in generative characters, i.e. length of the utricle and its beak, and percentage ratio of beak length to total utricle length; (ii) integrity of the taxa at the sites where they coexist, although some intermediate forms resulting from hybridization are also present; (iii) habitat preferences of the taxa, especially the preference of C. lepidocarpa for calcareous sites and of C. demissa for slightly acidic soils. Thus in Poland the analysed taxa are morphologically well-defined and show clear ecological preferences. Continuous variation of morphological characters was observed among specimens of C. viridula, so it is not justifiable to distinguish its subspecies (sometimes classified even as separate species), described previously in literature. Consequently, the 2 subgroups of C. viridula were treated as local variants (i.e. varieties: var. viridula and var. pulchella), considering their different habitat requirements. Additionally, 5 hybrids were distinguished within C. flava agg.: C. ×alsatica [= C. demissa × C. flava], C. ×ruedtii [= C. flava × C. lepidocarpa], C. ×schatzii [= C. lepidocarpa × C. viridula], C. ×subviridula [= C. flava × C. viridula], and C. demissa × C. viridula; as well as 2 hybrids with C. hostiana as one of the parents: C. ×fulva [= C. demissa × C. hostiana] and C. ×leutzii [= C. hostiana × C. lepidocarpa].


This paper presents lists of localities and distribution maps of Carex taxa of the section Ceratocystis in Poland. Distribution maps of individual taxa are based on the ATPOL grid, using material deposited in Polish herbaria and private collectionsas well as material collected during field research in 2007-2012. The collected data indicate that (i) in Poland C. flava s.s. is the most common species of the section Ceratocystis, whereas C. hostiana is the rarest one; (ii) most of the localities of C. demissa are situated in southern Poland, especially in Małopolska, Podkarpacie, and Silesia Provinces (iii) C. lepidocarpa is most frequent in Polesie, Lublin Upland, Małopolska, and Pomerania; no records of this species in southernmost parts of Poland have been confirmed; (iv) C. viridula var. viridula is frequent in Poland, whereas C. viridula var. pulchella is only known from 2 localities in the north; (v) the most frequent hybrid in Poland is C. ×alsatica [C. demissa × C. flava], while C. ×ruedtii [C. flava × C. lepidocarpa], C. ×subviridula [C. flava × C. viridula], and C. ×schatzii [C. lepidocarpa × C. viridula] are reported less often; the rarest hybrids are C. demissa × C. viridula, C. ×fulva [C. demissa × C. hostiana], and C. ×leutzii [C. hostiana × C. lepidocarpa].


The vegetation of protected salt meadows along the Baltic coast is fairly well known; however, dandelions have been so far treated as a collective species. The aim of our study was to examine the microspecies diversity of the genus Taraxacum in Polish salt and brackish coastal meadows and to analyse soil property preferences of the dandelion microspecies identified. In addition, we analysed the relations between soil properties and vegetation patterns in dandelion-supporting coastal meadows (by canonical correspondence analysis). The salt and brackish meadows along the Polish Baltic coast we visited were found to support a total of 27 dandelion microspecies representing 5 sections. Analysis of vegetation patterns showed all the soil parameters (C:N ratio, organic matter content, pH, concentration of Mg, P, K, electrolytic conductivity of the saturated soil extract ECe) to explain 32.07% of the total variance in the species data. The maximum abundance of most dandelion microspecies was associated with the highest soil fertility, moderate pH values and organic matter content, and with the lowest magnesium content and soil salinity. The exceptions were T. latissimum, T. stenoglossum, T. pulchrifolium and T. lucidum the occur-rence of which was related to the lowest soil fertility and the highest salinity. In addition, several microspecies (T. leptodon, T. gentile, T. haematicum, T. fusciflorum and T. balticum) were observed at moderate C:N ratios and ECe. Four other microspecies (T. infestum, T. cordatum, T. hamatum, T. sertatum) occurred at the lowest pH and organic matter content. The information obtained increases the still insufficient body of knowledge on ecological spectra of individual dandelion microspecies, hence their potential indicator properties.