, Volume 44, Issue 5, pp 411-428

An ecogeographic analysis of the Vicia narbonensis complex

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An ecogeographical analysis of the V. narbonensis complex and V. bithynica was conducted using herbarium specimens and genebank accessions. 956 specimens were included in the study from 26 herbaria, with geographical and ecological data recorded for each specimen. A distribution map of each taxa was produced, and the geographical and ecological preferences of each taxa were analysed and discussed. The taxa with the widest distribution were found to be V. narbonensis, V. bithynica and V. johannis, and the rarest taxa were V. galilaea var. galilaea and V. narbonensis var. aegyptiaca. The complex includes three endemic species; V. hyaeniscyamus, V. kalakhensis and V. eristalioides. The complex as a whole, was most frequently collected from grasslands, as a weed in cultivated fields and in wasteland. It showed a strong preference for calcareous soils. It was found that the quality of the passport data varied widely, but that in general the specimens from more recent collections included more detailed passport data. Herbarium specimens are invaluable in ecogeographic studies as the information obtained can be used as a guide for future collecting missions and in determining areas of importance when collecting material for conservation. Finally as the whole plant is available, the identification of each specimen can be checked.