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DOI: 10.31862/2500-2961-2019-9-3-285-301

Comparison of morphological characters of different poplar species (Populus, Salicaceae) using the example of Russian and Central Asian Tacamahaca (Spach) Penjkovsky subgenus representatives

Statistical analysis of  10 quantitative and 9 qualitative diagnostic characters of leaves and shoots of three Russian (Populus laurifolia Ledeb., P. nigra L., P. suaveolens Fisch.) and two Central Asian (P.  usbekistanica Komarov, P.  macrocarpa (Schrenk.) N. Pavl. et Lipsch.) poplar species of the Tacamahaca (Spach) Penjkovsky subgenus was performed. It was shown that according to studied quantitative characters P. nigra (Aegirus section) and P. suaveolens (Tacamahaca section) belong to opposite “poles”. This could be possibly due to the fact that the first species is the most common for lowlands poplar in  said group, and the  second species is  the  most mountainous and confined to the most severe climatic conditions. The natural areas of these two species are  also geographically extremely far from one another. The  other three species occupy an intermediate position both in their characters, in terms of growth, and geographically. In addition, they all hybridize in nature with Populus nigra, and Populus  laurifolia also with P.  suaveolens, which can also explain the  intermediate nature of their characters. It was shown that the leaf characters, such as leaf length and width, leaf length and width ratio etc., reflect the specificity of the studied species somewhat worse than a number of specific characters (leaf maximum width position, leaf teeth height and lateral edge radius of curvature, leaf top length and width).

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