Intra- and interpopulation relationships and taxonomic status of Pinus nigra Arnold in Croatia according to morphology and anatomy of needles

Zlatko Liber, Toni Nikolić, Božena Mitić

Abstract


Intra- and interpopulational relationships and taxonomic status of six natural black pine populations (Pinus nigra Arnold) from Croatia were analyzed. Special attention in this research was paid to the establishment of taxonomic status and distribution of stenoendemic Dalmatian black pine (Pinus nigra Arnold subsp. dalmatica (Vis.) Franco). Three morphological and twenty-one anatomical traits of needles were used as well as analysis by the methods of multivariate statistics. Most of the researched individuals showed strong population affiliation, whereas a clinal transition of morphological and anatomical traits of needles was determined among the populations. The opinion of the existence of three subspecies of black pine on the territory of Republic of Croatia (Pinus nigra Arnold subsp. nigra, Pinus nigra Arnold subsp. dalmatica (Vis.) Franco and Pinus nigra Arnold subsp. illyrica (Vid.) Fukarek) was confirmed. For each of the three subspecies new ranges were represented. Four Croatian populations were included in the stenoendemic subspecies of the Dalmatian black pine (Brač, Hvar, Grobnik and Pelješac), and a new distribution, broken in two, was suggested. Since the Dalmatian black pine has been reduced to several populations only, and there are some signs of continuous diminishing of its range, this research points out the need of making an action plan to preserve all natural populations of this subspecies.

Keywords


black pine; Croatia; intra- and interpopulation relationships; intraspecies taxonomy; distribution; endemic plant; conservation

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