Ecological variation of the selected subpopulations of Iris sibirica L. were studied in the years 2011-2012, in the abandoned patches of Molinietum caeruleae dominated by small meadow species (Patch I), macroforbs (Patch II), largetussock grasses (Patch III), shrubs (Patch IV), as well as shrubs and trees (Patch V). The abundance of subpopulations and dimensions of aggregations of ramet clusters increased gradually from Patch I to Patch IV and subsequently declined in Patch V. During the whole study period, all subpopulations showed signs of senility due to the absence of individuals in prereproductive stages. The share of generative ramet clusters diminished, while contribution of senile and fragmentised ramet clusters increased substantially in consecutive patches. The dimensions of ramet clusters increased significantly in successive plots and years. The number and height of generative stems and production of flowers and fruits did not show the temporal variability. The abundance of generative stems was considerably lower in the plots dominated by small meadow species, than in the sites dominated by large-tussock grasses, shrubs or overgrown shrubs and trees. Both the height of flowering stems and production of flowers and fruits increased gradually from Patch I, via Patches II, III and IV, to Patch V. The augmentation of flower production might contribute to better visibility of inflorescences for pollinators, whereas an increase in the production of fruits may increase the chances for successful seed dispersal to new sites.
This study results show that the I. sibirica subpopulations occurring in the site dominated by small meadow species and macroforbs were in unsatisfactory condition, those inhabiting the sites dominated by large-tussock grasses and shrubs were in a quite good condition, while the subpopulation inhabiting the plot overgrown by shrubs and trees showed the worst condition