Onobrychis pindicola and O. montana (Fabaceae) in the Pirin and Slavyanka Mts (SW Bulgaria): can we distinguish between them?

Ekaterina Kozuharova, Marie Hale, Vasil Simeonov, Miroslava Nedyalkova, Kirsten Wolff, A Richards
PHYTOLOGIA BALCANICA   unpublished
It has been considered that there are two perennial members of Onobrychis Mill. (Sect. Onobrychis), namely Onobrychis pindicola subsp. urumovii Degen & Dren. and Onobrychis montana subsp. scardica (Griseb.) P. W. Ball, distributed in the Pirin Mts, SW Bulgaria. They are not easy to distinguish following the identification key. We tested two alternative statements by measuring plant samples of several Onobrychis populations growing in the Pirin and Slavyanka Mts, and using both morphological and
more » ... molecular approaches: 1) statement one-there are two, more or less defined, separate taxa Onobrychis pindicola and O. montana in the Pirin and Slavyanka Mts and their individuals/ramets are: 1a) separated and located at particular distinct sites 1b) individuals/ramets of both taxa are mingled sympatrically and bloom simultaneously; or 2) statement two-there is only one polymorphic species in the Pirin and Slavyanka Mts. A representative sample of flowers was dissected into components and 13 flower features were measured. Three characters of the leaves were also measured on representative plant samples. Principal components analysis (PCA) was applied to detect relationships (groups of similarity) between various plant samples and other statistical tests. Also RAPD, ITS and TrnL sequences techniques, were used for analyses and interpretations. The results suggest that there is no clear pattern of differentiation among populations, which does not allow the definition of subgroups. We have concluded that there is only one polymorphic species in the Pirin and Slavyanka Mts., for which the prior combination is Onobrychis pindicola subsp. urumovii Degen & Dren.
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