Botanica Lithuanica, Volume 15, Number 4

2009 m.

The objective of the current study was to examine the diversity of Corylus avellana by its leaf morphology applying the image analysis and elliptic Fourier descriptors and to facilitate identification of the genetic diversity of the species. The stress was laid on the analysis of leaf shape, which is relatively constant and could be used as a morphological marker to recognize different genotypes. The results of the study of seven populations sampled across Lithuania showed strong correlation between leaf size and perimeter (r=0.931, <0.05). Principal component (PC) analysis of normalized elliptic Fourier descriptors (EFD) indicated that the first five PCs stand for about 79 % variation of leaf shape with the PC1 (leaf aspect ratio) responsible for 40 % variation. The EFD method is an effective tool for the evaluation of shape variation of plant leaves, particularly those having no clearly expressed landmarks.

Import of grain, seeds of other cultivated plants and agriculture production are among the main vectors for anthropogenic migrations of both native and alien plant species. A part of seeds which present as contaminants in grain or seeds of other cultivated plants enter anthropogenic or disturbed habitats at certain stages of grain transportation and treatment or with seeds intended for sowing. Diversity of wild plant seeds ocurring in imported grain and other seeds of cultivated plants was analysed in 58 shipments of grain imported in Lithuania and 2 shipments intended for export from Lithuania. Collected seeds were sown and plants grown to a stage, when their identification was possible. In total, 47 plant species belonging to 18 families were identified in the analysed samples. Majority of the identified species – 32 species – are common in Lithuania as native species or archaeophytes. Seeds of two species found as contaminents of imported grain or other seeds are frequently cultivated plants. Less than one third of species – 13 species – are alien to Lithuania. Seeds of alien plant species were recorded in shipments of grain from Belarus, Italy, Poland, Moldova, the Ukraine, and Hungary. The largest number of alien species was present in shipments from the Ukraine – 9 species. Shipments of mize grain were contaminated by seeds of 20 plant species.

Phenological observations of birch were conducted in the central part of Lithuania (Kaunas distr.), in pure 15–50-year-old B. pendula and B. pubescens stands in 2004–2006. Basically, phenological stages of foliation and flowering were studied. Heterogeneity and stability of the phenology of silver birch (B. pendula Roth.) and downy birch (B. pubescens Ehrh.) were investigated, phenological groups of flowering and foliation were identified, correlation of the development phases of vegetative and generative organs was analysed.

The current intensive anthropogenic activity has exerted a significant effect on the formed biotypes. This resulted in marked changes in composition and structure of segetal flora. Qualitative and quantitative composition of segetal flora in a sugar beet stand and its changes after one crop rotation (7 years) is analysed in this article. Research was carried out at the Rumokai Research Station of the Lithuanian Institute of Agriculture (Vilkaviškis distr. Klausučiai vicinity) in 2000 and 2008. The soil of the experimental site is medium heavy loam on clay. Segetal plants were counted in the sugar beet stand before the first herbicide application, and their species composition and number per m2 were established. In 2000 the prevalent weed species in the sugar beet stand were Lamium purpureum L., Galium aparine L., Chenopodium album L. In total, 17 weed species were identified in the crop stand. In 2008 species composition of segetal plants and quantitative parameters were similar. Assessment of ecological groups of segetal plants according to their demand for soil pH showed that in 2000 and 2008 most of the weed species belonged to the group of indifferent plants that grow in soils with a wide range of acidity. According to soil nitrogen demand, in 2000 most of the weed species belonged to the N6 group. In 2008 the weeds distributed almost evenly within N4 group according to the demand for soil nitrogen.

The aim of this publication is to evaluate the diversity of the native vascular medicinal plant species within the flora of Lithuania on the basis of the data presented in various review publications by Lithuanian authors during the last fifty years. 250 species, of which 181 (72.4 %) have been endorsed by the authors of at least two of the analysed publications or one larger publication, were included in this inventory list of native Lithuanian vascular medicinal plants, which has been compiled for the first time. The publication discusses the possible reasons for the inclusion of various plant species among the medicinal plants or for their exclusion. The further supplementation of the inventory list of native Lithuanian vascular medicinal plants should be made through the addition of ethnographic material, which is very frequently used insufficiently, and especially of the data from phytotherapy specialists.

Presentation of Lithuanian spontaneous flora species in their natural habitats is particularly important field at the Botanical Garden of Vilnius University. An educational route presenting some 50 species of spontaneous vascular flora was established in 2004. A new information system for visitors and special educational stands were created in 2008. People can learn about plant and wildlife diversity of natural habitats at the Botanical Garden, such as dry slopes, water bodies and wetlands, broadleaved and coniferous forests. The paper presents an overview of the stands, in which spontaneous flora diversity of the habitats and their ecological characteristics are introduced to the visitors. An extension of the existing educational scheme is possible by using plant species, which are naturally occurring in the Botanical Garden and are distinguished by their rarity, limited geographical distribution, ecological characteristics or usage.

The article gives a brief overview of the development of Lithuanian names of plants starting from the first manuscript dictionaries of Jurgis Ambraziejus Pabrėža and Prigimtūmenė by Laurynas Ivinskis to Lietuvos TSR flora and discusses ways and sources of their creation. In Lietuvos TSR flora and in first Lithuanian manuscript dictionaries of plant names (by Jurgis Ambraziejus Pabrėža and Laurynas Ivinskis) almost the same sources of term creation were used – folk names of plants taken from the common language and used in first dictionaries, terminologized words from dialects and common language, neologisms created using Lithuanian means of word-formation, sparse borrowings mostly from Latin.

Professor of Vilnius University Jonas Dagys (11 October, 1906–31 January, 1993) was a famous plant physiologist, plant ecologist and phytocoenologist, a member of the editorial board of the publication Lietuvos TSR flora, a creator of the Lithuanian botanical terminology and an active investigator of the history of botanical science. Floristic collection accumulated by J. Dagys during 1927–1984 is analysed considering botanical, geographical and educational aspects; the collection contains 1422 herbarium sheets. Relationship between the documented material and specialization of the scientist in different branches of botany is discussed. A valuable botanical heritage including algae, lichens, and mosses, local and foreign vascular plants is preserved at the herbarium of Vilnius University (WI).