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The Cardamine pratensis (Brassicaceae) group in the Iberian Peninsula: taxonomy, polyploidy and distribution

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The Cardamine pratensis group is a taxonomically critical species complex with pronounced karyological and morphological variation. In the present study, representatives from the Iberian Peninsula have been investigated using karyological, morphometric and molecular (amplified fragment length polymorphism) analyses. As a result of this combined approach, three species are recognized in the area studied: C. pratensis s.str., C. crassifolia, and a herein newly described species, C. castellana. For C. pratensis s.str., consistent with the pattern known from other European regions, wide variation in chromosome numbers is revealed, consisting of diploid to heptaploid populations in northern and central parts of the Peninsula. Little morphological and genetic differentiation accompanies these cytotypes. Re-evaluation of populations up to now ascribed to C. crassifolia reveal two separate taxa: (1) populations from the Eastern Pyrenees, representing typical C. crassifolia, and (2) those from central Iberian mountains treated as C. castellana. These two diploid taxa differ in several quantitative morphological characters, as well as in morphology of rhizome and basal parts of stem, and they are also distinct in AFLP markers, indicating strong genetic differentiation.


Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Institute of Botany, Slovak Academy of Sciences, Dúbravská cesta 14, SK-845 23 Bratislava, Slovak Republic. 2: Department of Higher Plant Systematics and Evolution, Institute of Botany, University of Vienna, Rennweg 14, A-1030 Vienna, Austria.

Publication date: 2003-11-01

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