Modification of life history and morphometric traits of montane species as an expression of adaptive abilities to different climatic conditions – a case study of Petasites kablikianus Tausch ex Bercht. (the Babia Góra Mt, Western Carpathians, Poland)

Aldona Katarzyna Uziębło


Detailed data on the response of plants to different climatic conditions could gain insight into the early impacts of climate change upon functioning ecosystems especially alpine ones, the most specialized. Petasites kablikianus (Asteraceae) is a species with montane and disjunctive distribution range, and it is one of the best objects to such investigations. In Polish high mountains, it is represented the best on the northern slopes of the Babia Góra massif (the Babiogórski National Park) and it occurs in two, independent zones: subalpine (landslides, rock rubbles) and lower montane zone (gravels on stream banks). The climatic differences between these two zones result in a morphological differentiation of specimens but mainly in differences in the dynamics of the life history of both populations. Detailed phenological observations and biometrical measurements were made on five plots on both gynodynamic and androdynamic shoots in their natural environment and after transplantation. The most important result is a fact that the subalpine population is completely phenologically isolated. Moreover the differences in the dates of beginning vegetation and in the duration and dynamics of particular stages of development and in morphological structure of individuals between the upper and lower populations were also stated. The results show that the adaptability of the species present a great potential to respond to the possible effects of global warming by modifying the life history and extending of distribution range for low-lying areas.


Petasites kablikianus; life history; phenological data; stages of development; subalpine species; global warming

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