Anomalous needle numbers on dwarf shoots of Pinus mugo and P. uncinata (Pinaceae)

Krystyna Boratyńska, Adam Boratyński


The frequency of occurrence of abnormal, three- (or more) needle dwarf shoots of most southern and central European two-needle pine (Pinus) species were studied. No specimens with more than two-needle dwarf shoots were found in a population of P. nigra Arnold subsp. salzmannii (Dunal) Franco from the Iberian Peninsula and in two populations of P. uliginosa Neumann from the Sudeten Mountains in Central Europe. Single specimens were found within one population of P. pinaster Aiton from the Iberian Peninsula and among six populations of P. sylvestris L. from the Iberian Peninsula and Central Europe. Abnormal dwarf shoots mostly with three, but also four, five or six needles were found among 24 of 25 surveyed populations of P. mugo Turra and P. uncinata Ramond. The average frequency of specimens with at least one three-needle dwarf shoot was 24% for P. mugo and 20% for P. uncinata. The frequencies of occurrence varied significantly among studied populations and were highest in samples collected from the upper elevational range limits of the species in the mountains and near the northern limits of their ranges. The frequency of abnormal dwarf shoots in the same populations was significantly high in 2-3 consecutive years. Needles from three-needle dwarf shoots were not significantly shorter than those of two-needle shoots.


Pinus mugo; Pinus uncinata; Central and Southern Europe; morphological variation; abnormal dwarf shoots; brachyblasts

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