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Steciana 2016, Vol. 20(3): doi: /steciana ISSN X MELILOTUS WOLGICA POIR. IN LAM. (FABACEAE) IN EURASIA: DISTRIBUTION AND HABITATS Julian Chmiel, Sławomi Mielczaek J. Chmiel, Depatment of Plant Taxonomy, Faculty of Biology, Adam Mickiewicz Univesity, Umultowska 89, Poznań, Poland, S. Mielczaek, Dwocowa 11/17, Konin, Poland, (Received: July 20, Accepted: Septembe 12, 2016) Abstact. The wok pesents infomation about the ange, occuence conditions, geogaphical and histoical status and dynamic tendencies of Melilotus wolgica in Euasia and Poland. In Poland, the species was noted fo the fist time in Szczecin at the end of 19 th centuy. Late, it was obseved in the anthopogenic localities in the Opole Povince, Kaków and Waszawa. In Wielkopolska, M. wolgica was obseved fo the fist time in 2012, south of Gosławice (Konin distict), whee a lage population was found on the embankment of a coal ash stoage esevoi of the Konin Powe Plant in the fome bown coal mine aea. Key wods: Melilotus wolgica, geogaphical ange, geogaphical and histoical status, occuence conditions, Euasia, Poland, Wielkopolska INTRODUCTION In Euope, the genus Melilotus Mille (Fabaceae) is epesented by 16 species (Hansen 1968). In Poland, eight species wee noted so fa. Fou of them: Melilotus alba Medik., M. altissima Thuill., M. dentata (Waldst. & Kit.) Pes. and M. officinalis (L.) Pall. ae consideed native species (Miek et al. 2002). Melilotus wolgica Poi. in Lam. is a Pontic species. Its natual ange compises easten Ukaine, southen pat of Euopean Russia, up to westen pat of Kazakhstan. It aely occus in the nothen pat of Cental and Westen Euope as an adventive species. In Poland, it was noted so fa in 10 localities (Tzcińska-Tacik 1967) and egaded as ephemeophyte (Rostański & Sowa ) o kenophyte (Tokaska-Guzik 2005). The main aim of this aticle was to chaacteise the occuence conditions and size of Melilotus wolgica population in the locality Gosławice nea Konin, as well as to ty to make a peliminay diagnosis of the studied population stability. Also, the cuent state of knowledge about the envionmental conditions, ways of spead, dynamic tendencies and distibution of Melilotus wolgica in Euasia and Poland was pesented. METHODS In the yeas , the intensive floistic investigations wee conducted using field mapping technique. They coveed all types of habitats, including anthopogenic, contained within 1-km gid squaes made accoding to the ATPOL system (Zając 1978). The basis of documentation of floistic elationships wee floistic and ecological elevés. In cases justified by the need of defining plant communities, phytosociological elevés wee made accoding to the Baun-Blanquet method (Pawłowski 1977). Pecise location of patches with M. wolgica was detemined by GPS using the WGS 84 datum. The nomenclatue of taxa (genea and species) was adopted afte Miek et al. (2002), while fo syntaxa afte Matuszkiewicz (2001). The collected specimens of M. wolgica wee deposited in the Hebaium of Adam Mickiewicz Univesity in Poznań (POZ). RESULTS Due to mophological similaity, Melilotus wolgica can be confused with M. alba. Howeve, in M. wolgica, white flowes ae slightly smalle and hang fom a much longe pedicel than in M. alba (Table 1, Figs 1 3). 160 Julian Chmiel, Sławomi Mielczaek Table 1. Compaison of diagnostic featues of Melilotus wolgica and M. alba Diagnostic featue Flowe length (mm) Pedicel length (mm) Pod length (mm) Pod colou Melilotus wolgica Poi. in Lam (pliable, dooping) yellow-bown Accoding to Bobov (1939) and Dzyubenko & Dzyubenko (2004), the compact ange of M. wolgica compises easten Euope and westen pat of Asia: fom the Azov Sea in the west to the uppe and middle Itysh ive basin. In the southen pat of the ange, along the Volga Rive valley, it eaches the Caspian Sea (Fig. 4). Melilotus wolgica is a native species in the easten Ukaine, south-west Russia and westen pat of Kazakhstan. Within its natual ange, it gows in steppes (also saline), on gavel/sand ive cliffs, in wet and saline gasslands, on fallows, baulks and even in cop fields as a segetal weed. In cental and westen Euope, the species was spoadically noted at the end of the 19th centuy (Witte 1909, Höck 1910). The fist ecods of the occuence of M. wolgica in this pat of Euope come fom 1891 (Gemany: Mannheim; Höck 1910) and 1890 (Sveden: Nacka-Stockholm; Aonsson 1994) (App. 1). Melilotus alba Medik ,5 (stiff, eect) blackish In Poland, M. wolgica was found only in anthopogenic localities, especially, in the ailway aeas. Fo the fist time, it was obseved in Szczecin at the end of the 19th centuy (leg. Moelendof 1889; Witte 1909: obs. in 1885). Late, it was noted in the Opole egion (Michalak 1971, 1976), as well as in the vicinity of Kaków and Medyka Rozządowa (Tzcińs ka-tacik 1967), and in Waszawa (Sudnik-Wójcikowska 1987) (App. 2, Fig. 5A). In Wielkopolska, M. wolgica was obseved fo the fist time in 2012, about 1 km south of Gosławice, nea Konin. This aea is dominated by anthopogenic landfoms, connected with the fome exploitation of bown coal. The substatum consists of mixed geological deposits. The developing local floa and vegetation include mainly adventive and xenospontaneous elements (Balcekiewicz & Pawlak 1990). A post-mining excavation (185.1 ha in aea), located in the nothen pat of the fome bown Fig. 1. Fagment of Melilotus wolgica population on the top of embankment in the vicinity of Gosławice (phot. J. Chmiel, ) 161 Melilotus wolgica Poi. in Lam. (Fabaceae) in Euasia: distibution and habitats Table 2. Plant community with Melilotus wolgica Poi. in Lam. No. of elevé Date Altitude a.s.l. (m) Latitude N Longitude E Aea of the elevé Cove of heb laye (%) Numbe of species in elevé Fig. 2. Infloescence of Melilotus wolgica (phot. S. Mielczaek, ) coal mine in Gosławice, has been used as a coal ash stoage site since Funace waste in the fom of semi-liquid ash and gavel mixtue, as well as waste fom the desulphuization of exhaust gases ae tanspoted via the pipeline system. Accoding to Kasiński (2005), sedimentay ashes ae highly alkaline (ph~12.0). In the southen pat of the ash stoage esevoi, a small, lifeless lazue lake is situated. No oganic, nitate, nitite and phosphate compounds wee found in the sediments. In the easten pat of this esevoi, M. wolgica gows among othe udeal species in two vegetation patches coveing 290 m2 in total: Melilotus wolgica Ch. Ass. Melilotetum albo-officinalis Melilotus alba Melilotus officinalis Ch. Ass. Dauco-Picidetum hieacioidis Daucus caota Pastinaca sativa Ch. Ass. Tanaceto-Atemisietum Tanacetum vulgae Ch. Ass. Potentillo agenteae-atemisietum absinthii Potentilla agentea Ch. O. Onopodetalia acanthii Medicago lupulina Oenothea depessa Atemisia campestis Ch. Cl. Atemisietea vulgais Atemisia vulgais Elymus epens Hypeicum pefoatum Ch. Cl. Stellaietea mediae Vicia tetaspema Vicia angustifolia Othes Calamagostis epigejos Poa compessa Medicago sativa Phalais aundinacea Festuca aundinacea Tifolium epens Solidago gigantea Potentilla eptans Puccinellia distans Poa patensis º16'38.9'' 52º16'43.0'' º15'47.8'' 18º15'41.6'' population 1 compises 36 individuals which occupy an aea of about 60 m2 along an access dit oad to the top of embankment, population 2 consists of about 500 individuals gowing on the top of embankment (build of mixed clay and loam) and coveing an aea of about 230 m2 (Fig. 5B, C). Patches with M. wolgica ae simila to phytocoenoses of the Melilotetum albo-officinalis association. The common species fo both types of phytocoenoses ae: Atemisia campestis, Melilotus alba, M. officinalis, Medicago sativa and M. lupulina. The dominant species is Calamagostis epigejos. 162 Julian Chmiel, Sławomi Mielczaek Fig. 3. Fuit of Melilotus wolgica (phot. S. Mielczaek, ) In 2012, the abundant floweing and fuiting and spontaneous seeding of M. wolgica was noted in the locality Gosławice. These findings indicate that, possibly, the studied species can be a stable element of floa of post-mining aeas nea Konin. Howeve, to confim this thesis, futhe obsevations ae equied. Fig. 4. Distibution of Melilotus wolgica in Euasia: 1 natual ange (Dzyubenko & Dzyubenko 2004; updated and modified), 2 localities in natual habitats, 3 localities in anthopogenic habitats Melilotus wolgica Poi. in Lam. (Fabaceae) in Euasia: distibution and habitats 163 Fig. 5. Distibution of localities of Melilotus wolgica in Poland; afte Zając & Zając (2001), supplemented: ed colou denotes the locality in Gosławice nea Konin (A); Locality of M. wolgica in Gosławice nea Konin (1, 2 locations of phytosociological elevés pesented in Table 2): situational plan (B), pecise location of the population (C) DISCUSSION Melilotus wolgica in natual habitats was ecognised as a taxon that equies potection (Naumenko 2012, Naumenko et al. 2011). In Russia, this species and its habitats ae potected within the following natue eseves: Galischya Goa, Rostovsky, Khopyosky and Akaim (Talovina 2011). Pobably, the main facto theatening natual habitats of M. wolgica was convesion of steppes into agicultual fields. As a consequence, the species, within its natual ange of occuence, was fequently found in field cops and at thei magins (Tzcińska-Tacik 1967). Geogaphic expansion of the species poceeds distinctly in a noth-west diection. Essential fo its migation ae communication outes: oads and ailway lines. The species dispesion is not gadual and egula in time and space. Numeous obsevations fom Westen Euope show that M. wolgica appeas eatically, in sites consideably distant fom the pevious localities. In the Nethelands, Belgium, Gemany, Denmak, Noway and Sweden, it was noted almost exclusively in pot towns, whee it was bought along with impoted goods. Diaspoes of M. wolgica, which wee tanspoted with ceeals, spead ephemeically in the vicinity of mills, e.g., in Nacka nea Stockholm (Aonsson 1994). Also, Baanova & Puzyev (2012), who noted the species in ceeal and vegetable collecting centes, indicate the possibility of the species spead with agicultual poducts. All occuences of the species obseved so fa in Westen Euope and Scandinavia wee of ephemeal chaacte and depended on allochtonic tanspot of diaspoes to udeal habitats. Effectiveness of spontaneous spead of diaspoes was vey small due to unfavoable maine climate conditions. Melilotus wolgica, which was ecoded in this pat of Euope ove 100 yeas ago, did not obtain thee the status of a natualized species. Also, in Cental Euope, the species is egaded as mostly ephemeal (Gojdičová et al. 2000, Pyšek et al. 2002). In Easten Euope, it is a elatively fequent and pemanent element of udeal habitat floa in the uban aeas and along oads and ailway tacks. Howeve, it is not consideed an expansive species (Ostapko et al. 2009). Accoding to Tokaska-Guzik (2005), M. wolgica, within the pesent bodes of Poland, was ecoded fo the fist time in Szczecin in 1937 (Holzfuss 1937). Howeve, the fome Geman and Swedish souces indicate that this species has been obseved in Szczecin at least 50 yeas ealie (leg. Moelendof 1889; Witte 1909: obs. in 1885). So fa, it was found in 10 localities and noted most fequently in the Opole egion (Michalak 1971, 1976, 1981). The published data about its localities ae only of desciptive value and do not conside long-tem pespectives of population stability. None of fome localities was subsequently visited. Also, thee was no attempt 164 Julian Chmiel, Sławomi Mielczaek made to monito the possibility of the species spead to semi-natual habitats, as indicated by Tzciń ska- Tacik (1967). In this situation, it is difficult to detemine the status of the species natualization in Poland. Accoding to Rostański & Sowa ( ) and Michalak (1981), all populations of M. wolgica had an ephemeal status. Howeve, Tokaska-Guzik (2005) indicated that the species deseves the kenophyte status. The one-yea study of M. volgica population in the locality Gosławice is cetainly not sufficient to daw conclusions about the dynamics and stability of this population. Howeve, when taking into account the consideable size of this population, consisting of about 500 floweing, fuiting and seeding individuals, M. wolgica can be consideed a elatively stable element of the udeal floa of post-mining habitats in Konin egion. A common pactice used in agicultual eclamation of post-mining aeas is sowing of pionee plants that ae esistant to advese habitat conditions and activate biologically dead substatum. This goup of plants includes some species of the family Fabaceae (Skawina 1963, Mocek-Płóciniak 2014). Although, thee ae no data on using M. wolgica in land eclamation pocedues, an accidental spead of its diaspoas bought with the diaspoas of M. alba cannot be excluded. Balcekiewicz & Pawlak (1990) epoted that M. alba was sown on the slopes and escapments of Konin coal basin fo stabilization puposes. The spead of M. wolgica in the studied post-mining aea may be encouaged by the abundance of nitogen-poo clayish and sandy fomations, unfavoable fo the spead of othe species. CONCLUSIONS Melilotus wolgica oiginates fom the steppe aeas of easten Ukaine, south-west Russia and westen Kazakhstan. It speads mainly in the noth-west diection, though oveland outes and sea tanspotation. The species was bought into the pot towns of West and Noth Euope togethe with ceeals as ealy as in the 19 th centuy. In East Euope, apat fom natual habitats, it occupies anthopogenic habitats along tanspotation outes. In Poland, M. wolgica has been obseved in 10 localities thus fa (mainly in the Opole egion). A lage population of this species discoveed in the locality nea Gosławice in 2012 is the fist one epoted fom Wielkopolska. It occupies an aea of 290 m 2 in the easten pat of a coal ash stoage esevoi of the Konin Powe Plant. The species is a component of the udeal community Melilotetum albo-officinalis. An abundant floweing, fuiting and seeding make it possible to ecognize it as a elatively stable element of the floa of Wielkopolska. Pesumably, M. wolgica was bought into this aea togethe with the seeds of M. alba, which wee used fo the stabilization of slopes and escapments in the Konin coal basin. AKNOWLEDGEMENTS I wamly thank Pof. Kaol Latowski fom the Adam Mickiewicz Univesity in Poznań and D Maksim Dzhus fom the Belaus State Univesity in Minsk fo thei kind help in the veification of localities fom the aea of Ukaine and Belaus. REFERENCES Abduzakova N.I., Taysumov M.A., Magomadova R.S., Astamiova M.A., Khasujeva B.A., Kushalieva J.A., Isailova S.A. (2013): Analiz astitiel nosti polupustyn teitoii Tesko-Kumskoy Nizmennosti w aznykh ekologicheskikh uslovyakh. Rasteniyevodstvo. Vestnik KasGAU 6: Agafonov V.A. (2004): Galofil naya floa sednego Dona. Vestnik WGU. Seija: Khimiya, Biologiya, Famatsiya 2: Aonsson M. (1994): Floistiska notise fån Sömland och Uppland. 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