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Ukr. Bot. J. 2020, 77(1): 44–55
Structural Botany

The Ulota crispa species complex (Orthotrichaceae, Bryophyta) in Ukraine

Barsukov O.O.

Based on the conclusions of recent publications concerning separate species Ulota crispula and U. intermedia previously grouped with U. crispa, the U. crispa species aggregate in Ukraine was studied. The specimens deposited in the herbaria of the M.G. Kholodny Institute of Botany (KW-B), State Museum of Natural History (LWS), Institute of Ecology of the Carpathians (LWKS-B), and from our personal collection were examined. The samples were compared by 25 morphological and anatomical characters; the keys in the cited publications were considered. For each pair of characters, the strength of association was calculated, according to the Cramer contingency coefficient, Spearman rank correlation and analysis of variance. There are two stable combinations of characters (morphotypes) which approximately correspond to the species diagnoses of U. crispa s. str. and U. crispula, according to the comparison results. Hence, it would be incorrect to exclude the latter species from the Second Checklist of Bryobionta of Ukraine (Boiko, 2014). The most reliable characters for species differentiation are leaf structure, sporophyte length and spore size, as well as capsule shape. Anatomical characters of capsule and peristome are less reliable because they are often absent and difficult to observe. In addition, numerous intermediate phenotypes not corresponding to the description of U. intermedia were recognized in the studied material. The occurrence of that species in Ukraine needs to be confirmed using molecular methods. Significant variability of species in the U. crispa complex makes impossible their correct identification solely by morphological characters.

Keywords: morphotypes, Orthotrichaceae, Ukraine, Ulota crispa, Ulota crispula, Ulota intermedia

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