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Категория: Материалы VIII Симпозиума (2018 год)
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STEPPIC SCORZONERA L. (ASTERACEAE DUMORT.) SPECIES IN THE FLORA OF REPUBLIC OF MOLDOVA 

СТЕПНЫЕ ВИДЫ РОДА SCORZONERA L. (ASTERACEAE DUMORT.) ВО ФЛОРЕ РЕСПУБЛИКИ МОЛДОВА 

O. Ionita, E.Tofan-DorofeevIonita

О. Ионица, E. Тофан-Дорофеев

 

Botanical Garden (Institute) of the Academy of Sciences of Moldova

(Republic of Moldova, MD - 2002, Chisinau, Padurii Str. 18)

 

Ботанический сад (Институт) Академии Наук Республики Молдова

(Республика Молдова, 2002, Кишинев, ул. Лесная, 18)

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The article focuses on the results of the floristic research on the genus Scorzonera L. in the flora of the Republic of Moldova, where it includes 7 species of steppe plant communities: Scorzonera austriaca Willd., S. crispa M.Bieb., S. mollis M.Bieb., S. purpurea L., S. stricta Hornem., S. taurica M.Bieb. and S. hispanica L.; the first 6 of them are rare taxa. The conservation status, the limiting factors and the conservation measures of threatened species are given below.

В статье приведены результаты флористических исследований рода Scorzonera L. во флоре Республики Молдова. Род Scorzonera включает 7 видов, характерных для степных биотопов: Scorzonera austriaca Willd., S. crispa M.Bieb., S. mollis M.Bieb., S. purpurea L., S. stricta Hornem., S. taurica M.Bieb. и S. hispanica L.; первые 6 видов являются редкими. Для редких видов указаны категория редкости, лимитирующие факторы и меры по сохранению в регионе. 

INTRODUCTION

Currently, in the flora of the Earth, the genus Scorzonera L. is represented by 150 species, distributed in the extra-tropical areas of Eurasia and North Africa. The specific diversity of this genus is particularly rich in the Central and South-Western Asia [11].

According to the specialized literature, the flora of the Republic of Moldova includes 9 species of Scorzonera L.: Scorzonera austriaca Willd., S. ensifolia M.Bieb., S. purpurea L., S. hispanica L., S. mollis M.Bieb., S. parviflora Jacq., S. stricta Hornem., S. cana (C.A. Mey.) Griseb. and S. laciniata L. [7, 9]. Recently, in a monographic study on the genus Scorzonera, the taxonomic rank, the volume and the distinctive features of species were specified and, as a result, Scorzonera cana and S. laciniata were attributed to the genus Podospermum DC. As a result of the floristic and chorological studies, conducted in the last 10 years by the authors, 2 new species of Scorzonera have been discovered in the flora of the Republic of Moldova: Scorzonera crispa M.Bieb. and S. taurica M.Bieb. Most species are part of various steppe and glade plant associations, rarely they are part of the grassy layer of meadows. The steppe plants of Scorzonera are very decorative during the flowering stage and are of scientific interest, as some of their representatives are included in the List of Species Protected by the State and the Red Book of the Republic of Moldova, 3rd edition, and some species are included in the Red Book of Romania and Ukraine. Even if the steppe areas have significantly reduced, the xerophylous and xeromesophylous steppe species are spreading, occupying specific habitats, so that new sites where they occur and even new species for this region are identified.

MATERIALS AND METHODS

This study is based on the floristic field research on the genus Scorzonera L. (Asteraceae Dumort.) in the flora of the Republic of Moldova, literature review and critical analysis of the collections from the herbaria, performed according to the classical comparative-morphological method. In order to identify the taxonomic affiliation of the botanical material from the herbarium and specifying the bio-ecological, phytogeographical and chorological features of the species, catalogues for determining species and basic floristic literature referring to the studied area were used [7-9, 11]. The evaluation of the rare species and the determination of the conservation status were carried out in accordance with the criteria adopted by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (2001, 2003) [4, 5]. The taxonomic nomenclature is presented according to the fundamental papers in this field [7, 11]. The names of the authors of the species were rendered according to “Authors of Plant Names”, published by R. K. Brummit and C. E. Powell [1].

RESULTS AND DISCUSSIONS

In the past, the steppe vegetation covered the plains of the central and southern parts of the country. However, at present, these areas are almost completely destroyed and fragments of steppe areas remained only in reserves and hard-to-reach lands, unfavourable to agriculture. The floristic composition and the structure of the steppe communities vary depending on relief and features of the soil. The steppes of the Republic of Moldova belong to the true steppes of lax caespitose grasses (Poaceae family) [10]. The genus Scorzonera lists seven species of steppe plant communities, and six of these taxa are rare – most of them are included in the List of Rare Species of the flora of the Republic of Moldova. The conservation status of the threatened species has been assessed according to the latest requirements of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN, 2001, 2003), assigning one of the following categories: Critically Endangered [CR], Endangered [EN] and Vulnerable [VU].

The conservation status, the habitat, the local distribution and the geoelement of each species are given below. The research on the populations and habitats of the threatened species made it possible to identify limiting factors and recommend measures to protect the studied rare taxa.

  1. Scorzonera austriaca Willd. – critically endangered species [CR]. It grows on slopes with steppe and petrophyte vegetation, in steppes, in small and fragmented areas. In the territory of our country, it was collected from Doibani commune, Dubăsari district and Zgărdeşti commune, Teleneşti district, and recently, in 2016, it was found on the slopes with steppe vegetation in the vicinity of Țâpova commune, Rezina district. The habitat of the species is constantly degrading because of the pronounced anthropogenic impact. Eurasian (Mediterranean) element. Xeromesophilous species. Limiting factors: degradation of steppe sectors, exploitation and reduction of their areas, mowing, overgrazing. Included in the List of Rare Plant Species Protected by the State [6], in the Red Book of the Republic of Moldova, 3rd edition [3] and in the Red Book of Ukraine [12]. Protection measures: protection of the areas where this species grows, strict observance of the regime of nature reserves, ex-situ cultivation and repopulation of the natural habitat.
  2. S. crispa M.Bieb. – endangered species [EN]. It grows on rocky slopes with steppe vegetation and meadows, solitarily or in groups by (2)3-7(10) plants. Individual plants form dense bundle of stems. In the Republic of Moldova, it has been found in the vicinity of Zgărdești and Ratuș communes, Telenești district, and Ciocâlteni commune, Orhei district. At present, because of habitat destruction, only one area where this plant grows has remained – the one near Zgărdești commune. Eurasian (Mediterranean) element. Xeromesophilous species. Limiting factors: overgrazing in meadows and on slopes, planting the steppe slopes with forest plants, expansion of agricultural fields and presence of localities in the immediate vicinity. Protection measures: inclusion of the species in the list of plants protected by law, organization of activities for the protection of the highlighted populations and monitoring of their status.
  3. Scorzonera hispanica L. – grows in glades, scrublands, on slopes and hills with steppe vegetation. It occurs sporadically in steppe sectors in most districts of the country. Eurasian (Mediterranean) element. Xeromesophilous species. The population of this species is stable, but the negative impact of the process of severe habitat degradation and can lead to its extinction from some areas.
  4. Scorzonera stricta Hornem. – endangered species [EN]. It grows on hills with steppe vegetation. The habitat of this taxon is fragmented. Seven locations are known, predominantly in steppe sectors in Ciumai village and Vinogradovca commune, Taraclia district, and Slobozia Mare commune, Cahul district. Ponto-Sarmatian element. Xeromesophilous species. Limiting factors: reduction and exploitation of steppe sectors, small populations with few plants and limited area. It has been included in the List of Rare Plant Species Protected by the State [6]. Protection measures: protection of the areas where this species grows, identification of new areas where it occurs, ex-situ cultivation and repopulation of the natural habitat, storage of seeds in gene banks.
  5. Scorzonera taurica M.Bieb. – endangered species [EN]. It grows in steppes, on hills with steppe vegetation, in places with limestone substrate, scrublands. This species was found for the first time in the Republic of Moldova in 2010. The destruction of specific habitats has led to a decline in the viability of populations. In the studied territory, it has been found in 4 localities: Cărpineni commune and Mireşti commune, Hînceşti district; Bugeac commune and at 6 km east of Kongaz commune (Autonomous Territorial Unit of Găgăuzia). Eurasian (Mediterranean) element. Xeromesophilous species. Limiting factors: this species is endangered because of the reduction in the number of specific habitats, the exploitation of steppe sectors to cultivate agricultural crops, planting steppe slopes with various allochthonous woody species. Protection measures: inclusion in the list of plant species protected by law, observance of the regime of the landscape reserve, monitoring of populations, detection of new sites where this species grows, etc.
  6. Scorzonera purpurea L. – vulnerable species [VU]. It grows in steppes, sparse forests, glades, scrublands, grassy rocks. The floristic and chorological studies conducted in the recent years have revealed a drastic reduction in the number sites where this species occurs, being found in satisfactory condition only in areas that are hard-to-reach or protected. Eurasian (continental) element. Xeromesophilous species. Limiting factors: deforestation, mowing and grazing in glades and forest edges, recreation activities, habitat loss, formation of small populations with few mature plants. This species has been included in the List of Rare Plant Species Protected by the State [6]. Protection measures: protection of the sites where the species grows, strict observance of the regime of the reserve, monitoring of populations, detection of new sites where it grows etc.
  7. Scorzonera mollis M.Bieb. – vulnerable species [VU]. It grows on the steep slopes of the old riverbed of the Prut river, in arid steppe sectors, on limestone slopes. The degradation of biotopes and the reduction of the area of specific habitats have led to a decrease in population density and in the number of mature plants. Ten sites where this species occurs are known, predominantly in the south-western part of the studied area. Ponto-Balkan element. Xeromesophilous species. Limiting factors: overgrazing in steppe sectors, habitat degradation and exploitation of the land where this species grows for agricultural purposes. It has been included in the List of Rare Plant Species Protected by the State [6], in the Red Book of the Republic of Moldova, 3rd edition [3], and in the Red Book of Vascular Plants of Romania [2]. Protection measures: protection of steppe sectors, monitoring of the state of populations and their numerical study.

CONCLUSIONS

Based on the floristic and chorological research on Scorzonera L., 7 species that grow in steppe habitats have been identified: Scorzonera austriaca Willd., S. crispa M.Bieb., S. mollis M.Bieb., S. purpurea L., S. stricta Hornem., S. taurica M.Bieb. and S. hispanica L., the first 6 of which are rare taxa. To protect rare species, the monitoring of populations should be continued, because it will contribute to the objective assessment of the species and the re-evaluation of their status. The accumulation of new data makes it possible to identify the risk factors that threaten the existence of species and are used to enhance the effectiveness of protection measures. 

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