Cochlearia polonica Fröhl. (Brassicaceae), a narrow endemic species of southern Poland: history of conservation efforts, overview of current population resources and genetic structure of populations

Elżbieta Cieślak, Róża Kaźmierczakowa, Michał Ronikier

Abstract


Cochlearia polonica Fröhl. (Brassicaceae) is one of the rarest species in the Polish and European flora and a taxon endemic to a very small area in southern Poland. Due to industrial activities and subsequent transformation of habitats it was extinct in all natural localities around 1994. The persistence of the species was ensured thanks to the active protection efforts including a series of transplantations based on the material from the last and decreasing natural population. The history of conservation efforts of C. polonica provides a model example of successful active protection in the European flora. Here, we provide a complete review comprising the following aims: (i) outline of the discovery and taxonomic conceptions on C. polonica, (ii) review of conservation efforts aimed at preserving its populations, (iii) description of the existing population resources, and (iv) analysis of the genetic structure of all existing populations based on previously published data and new, supplementary results.

Keywords


Cochlearia polonica; endemic species; transplantation; introduced population; conservation; genetic variation; genetic structure; AFLP

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