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Biologia

pp 1–22 | Cite as

Cytological and morphological variation of Fallopia sect. Reynoutria taxa (Polygonaceae) in the Krivánska Malá Fatra Mountains (Slovakia)

  • Pavol MereďaJr
  • Zuzana Koláriková
  • Iva Hodálová
Original Article

Abstract

Representatives of Fallopia sect. Reynoutria (knotweeds) belong to the most aggressive invasive plants in Europe. Despite their significant role in biological invasions and the major interest devoted to them by botanists and environmentalists, the identification of the members of this group is still very difficult and often mistaken. We studied the distribution of this group in the northwestern part of the Krivánska Malá Fatra Mountains (northwestern Slovakia). Forty-three Fallopia sect. Reynoutria stands (53 stems, 106 leaves) were used in flow cytometry and multivariate morphometrics to evaluate their genome size and morphological variation. Our research revealed that the group in the study area includes three knotweed taxa and that each of them is represented by only one cytotype: hexaploid (2n = 6x ~ 66) in F. ×bohemica (23 stands), octoploid (2n = 8x ~ 88) in F. japonica var. japonica (18 stands) and tetraploid (2n = 4x ~ 44) in F. sachalinensis (2 stands). Morphometrics of 23 leaf characters revealed that the most reliable distinguishing character of Fallopia sect. Reynoutria taxa is leaf indumentum. Analyses showed that F. ×bohemica is much more similar in leaf morphology to F. japonica var. japonica than to F. sachalinensis, thus explaining the fact that F. ×bohemica is, in both Slovakia and Europe, very often confused with F. japonica var. japonica, whose presence outside cultivation is overestimated. Compared to the other two knotweed taxa, occurrences of F. japonica var. japonica in the study area were situated mainly along watercourses, due to its exclusively vegetative propagation.

Keywords

Fallopia Flow cytometry Invasion Multivariate morphometrics Polyploidy Slovakia 

Notes

Acknowledgments

This study was supported by the Grant Agency of Slovak Academy of Sciences VEGA (grants no. 2/0131/16 and 2/0154/17).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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Copyright information

© Plant Science and Biodiversity Centre, Slovak Academy of Sciences 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Botany, Plant Science and Biodiversity CentreSlovak Academy of SciencesBratislavaSlovakia
  2. 2.BeláSlovakia

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