Hladnikia pastinacifolia RCHB., a narrow endemic, has an extremely restricted distribution in Trnovski gozd (Slovenia), despite the presence of many sites with suitable habitats. We compared the morphological traits of plants from different populations and habitats. The overall pattern showed that the smallest plants, with low fruit number, are found on Èaven (locus classicus or type locality); the largest individuals, with high fruit number, grow in the Golobnica gorge. As judged by plant size and seed set, the optimal habitats are screes. We used RAPD markers to estimate genetic variation between and within populations, as well as between and within the northern and the southern parts of the distribution area. Hladnikia showed only a low level of RAPD variability. AMOVA partitioned the majority of genetic diversity within selected populations. The low genetic differentiation between populations and their genetic depauperation indicates survival in situ, since the Trnovski gozd plateau most likely was a nunatak region in the southern Prealps during Pleistocene glaciations. Later range expansion of extant populations was limited by poor seed dispersal. We also analyzed the cpDNA trnL-F intergenic spacer to check whether the sequence is useful for studying the phylogenetic relationships of Hladnikia within the family Apiaceae (Umbelliferae). Our results support the assertion that H. pastinacifolia is an old taxon.
Nina Šajna, Tatjana Kavar, Jelka Šuštar-Vozliè and Mitja Kaligariè
Nina Sajna, Jelka Šuštar-Vozlič and Mitja Kaligarič
We studied the anatomy of a rare narrow endemic species belonging to the Slovenian flora - Hladnikia pastinacifolia Rchb. Hladnikia is a monotypic genus with distinct taxonomic position within the Apiaceae family. The anatomical characteristics revealed by light and fluorescence microscopy provided new insights regarding the pollen, leaf and root characteristics of H. pastinacifolia, improving the understanding of its biology and ecology. Pollination, drought tolerance, life cycle and unattractiveness to herbivores explain the species’ persistence in time. Autofluorescence localized bioactive substances within secretory ducts and oil ducts.
Nina Šajna, Marjana Regvar, Simona Kaligarič, Željko Škvorc and Mitja Kaligarič
- According to recent molecular analyses of Salicornia, we revised the annual glassworts from the Croatian coast, classified until now only as Salicornia europaea. Two species, a diploid Salicornia patula and a tetraploid S. emerici were recognized. They can be easily distinguished by floral characters, but not only by their habitus, which varies extremely according to environmental factors. Both species differ also in seed morphology. Salicornia patula has dimorphic seeds, with larger central seeds reaching high germination rates. Germination patterns helped to explain the habitat preferences. The species rarely co-occur, however. The rare S. patula occupies drier habitats, on coastal mudflats or sands that are irregularly inundated. It occurs within the assoc. Suaedo maritimae-Salicornietum patulae. Salicornia emerici occupies the lowest coastal mudflats, regularly inundated, where nutrient-rich conditions prevail, and forms an almost monotypical assoc. Salicornietum emerici. Due to the synonymy of S. veneta with S. emerici, we exclude the occurrence of S. veneta in Croatia as an independent taxon.