Geographical distribution, habitats and modern state of Carlina cirsioides (Asteraceae) populations

  • V. I. Melnyk M. M. Gryshko National Botanical Garden of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine
  • I. O. Kovalchuk Kremenets Botanical Garden
  • L. I. Dovhopola Hryhorii Skovoroda University in Pereiaslav
  • Y. P. Shapran Hryhorii Skovoroda University in Pereiaslav
Keywords: rare species; flora; systematic position; range; communities; protection.


The study of the current state and habitats of rare and threatened species of plants is a relevant task of ecological research. The paper presents the results of the study of systematic position, habitats and modern state of populations of a rare species included in the Red DataBook of Ukraine Carlina cirsioides Klokov (=C. acaulis L.). Carlina cirsioides is well-known to European phytosozologists as an endemic and relic species of the Flora of Ukraine. At the same time, the species independence of this taxon is not recognized by the authors of monographs on the Carlina genus and by the authors of “Flora Europaea”. Comparative morphological, chorological and ecological-coenotic analyses do not give sufficient reasons to consider C. cirsioides described by Klokov as a separate species, endemic and relic species of the Flora of Ukraine. According to the morphological traits, the specimens from the lowland part of Ukraine belong to the C. acaulis caulescens subspecies, which is distributed mostly in the lowlaand regions of Europe. Ecological-coenotic conditions of habitats of C. acaulis in the plains of Ukraine are different from those in the mountain regions and are close to the plains habitats of this species in Central Europe. Steppe communities of class Festuco-Brometea, of which C. acaulis is component in the plains part of Ukraine, are close to xerothermic herbaceous communities of Central Europe; forest communities of Erico-Pinetea with C. cirsioides in Ukrainian Polissia and the North-East Poland are very сlose by floristic composition. The removal of separate species status of the plains populations of C. acaulis near the eastern border of the range does not at all downplay its sozological significance. Taking into account the low number of C. acaulis in the Volhynian-Podolian Upland and in the Polesian Lowland, all localities of this species in the lowland part of the range in Ukraine must be taken under protection in situ.


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