The population of Aconitum lasiostomum RCHB. (Ranunculaceae) in the right bank of the Middle Dnieper region: state and argumentation of protection

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O. A. Spriahailo
O. V. Spriahailo
V. L. Shevchyk


Introduction. Aconitum lasiostomum has a sporadic distribution in Ukraine and is a rare species for most European countries. In terms of systematics, it belongs within the number of numerous morphologically and phytocenotically similar species of a section Lycoctonum DC. or is considered as part of an aggregate species Aconitum lycoctonum agg., which is nominal for the species of this section of the genus. Populations are scanty and susceptible to a range of ecological factors. Regional status of preservation and low exploration degree of the populations’ state do not provide enough protection and require the reconsideration and systematization of the efforts aimed for the species’ preservation.

Purpose. To assess the modern state of the population of Aconitum lasiostomum in the right bank of the Middle Dnieper region and to reason the raising of its protection status.

Methods. We identified and studied the new growth site of Aconitum lasiostomum in May-July 2020 in Smila District of Cherkasy Region, in Sunky forestry of State Company “Smilyanske lisove hospodarstvo”.

The districts with an area of 10 x 10 m were planted within the natural borders of the phytocoenoses in the habitats of Aconitum lasiostomum. The habitats’ names were taken from the EUNIS classification. The taxa names are provided in accordance with «Vascular Plants of Ukraine. A Nomenclatural Cheсklist» (Mosyakin, Fedoronchuk, 1999).

Results. The previously unknown population of the endemic of Eastern Europe - Aconitum lasiostomum – was described. The inclination of localities to the moderately illuminated growth sites within the regional variant of the E5.4 ‘Moist or wet tall-herb and fern fringes and meadows’ biotopes type was elucidated. The parameters of the Aconitum lasiostomum population were described. Total number – about 100 specimens. Arrangement – in clusters of 7-35 specimens of various ages. Percentage of generative individuals – 38.4%. Under the intense shading, the percentage of generative individuals decreases to 3-4%. Maximum height of generative specimens at the beginning of flowering – 62-120 cm.

It has been found that Aconitum lasiostomum has a rare character of distribution in the right bank of the Middle Dnieper and other regions of Ukraine. The populations are organized in the conjunction with moist and fresh, middle- and rich edaphotopes under the broadleaf forests (alliances Alnion incana Pawlowski et al.1928 & Carpinion betuli Issler 1931). Obvious is the rather narrow range of coenotical conditions, which are sufficient for its growth and for the reproduction of the populations within the floral aggregations of the class Carpino-Fagetea sylvaticae Jakucs ex Passarge 1968.

Originality. The first description of the population of Aconitum lasiostonum in the right bank of the Middle Dnieper region was made. The types of biotopes, favorable for the species’ development and the main risks for the populations were determined. The increase of the sozological status of the species in Ukraine was justified.

Conclusion. The previously unknown habitat of Aconitum lasiostonum within the communities, which are protected by the Resolution 4 of the Bern Convention, was elucidated. These communities are proposed to be protected within the Emerald Network in Ukraine E5.4. ‘Moist or wet tall-herb and fern fringes and meadows’.

It was determined, that the population of Aconitum lasiostonum is comparably numerous and diverse in age. Most of the loci with a high number of specimens are inclined to better illuminated growth sites.

The combination of authors’ and literature data regarding the state of the populations of Aconitum lasiostonum allows us to claim the necessity of increasing the nature-preserving status of the species and including it in the Red Book of Ukraine.

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