Angegeben wird jeweils das Sammeldatum des für die Chromosomenzählung verwendeten Materials (Lebendpflanze, Samen) zuzüglich eines eventuell gesammelten Beleges sowie – getrennt durch einen Schrägstrich – Sammeldatum und Aufbewahrungsort eines Beleges der gezählten Pflanze.
Plant traits—the morphological, anatomical, physiological, biochemical and phenological characteristics of plants—determine how plants respond to environmental factors, affect other trophic levels, and influence ecosystem properties and their benefits and detriments to people. Plant trait data thus represent the basis for a vast area of research spanning from evolutionary biology, community and functional ecology, to biodiversity conservation, ecosystem and landscape management, restoration, biogeography and earth system modelling. Since its foundation in 2007, the TRY database of plant traits has grown continuously. It now provides unprecedented data coverage under an open access data policy and is the main plant trait database used by the research community worldwide. Increasingly, the TRY database also supports new frontiers of trait-based plant research, including the identification of data gaps and the subsequent mobilization or measurement of new data. To support this development, in this article we evaluate the extent of the trait data compiled in TRY and analyse emerging patterns of data coverage and representativeness. Best species coverage is achieved for categorical traits—almost complete coverage for ‘plant growth form’. However, most traits relevant for ecology and vegetation modelling are characterized by continuous intraspecific variation and trait– nvironmental relationships. These traits have to be measured on individual plants in their respective environment. Despite unprecedented data coverage, we observe a humbling lack of completeness and representativeness of these continuous traits in many aspects. We, therefore, conclude that reducing data gaps and biases in the TRY database remains a key challenge and requires a coordinated approach to data mobilization and trait measurements. This can only be achieved in collaboration with other initiatives.
Background Polyploidy and apomixis are important factors influencing plant distributions often resulting in range shifts, expansions and geographical parthenogenesis. We used the Ranunculus auricomus complex as a model to asses if the past and present distribution and climatic preferences were determined by these phenomena. Results Ecological differentiation among diploids and polyploids was tested by comparing the sets of climatic variables and distribution modelling using 191 novel ploidy estimations and 561 literature data. Significant differences in relative genome size on the diploid level were recorded between the “auricomus” and “cassubicus” groups and several new diploid occurrences were found in Slovenia and Hungary. The current distribution of diploids overlapped with the modelled paleodistribution (22 kyr BP), except Austria and the Carpathians, which are proposed to be colonized later on from refugia in the Balkans. Current and historical presence of diploids from the R. auricomus complex is suggested also for the foothills of the Caucasus. Based on comparisons of the climatic preferences polyploids from the R. auricomus complex occupy slightly drier and colder habitats than the diploids. Conclusions The change of reproductive mode and selection due to competition with the diploid ancestors may have facilitated the establishment of polyploids within the R. auricomus complex in environments slightly cooler and drier, than those tolerated by diploid ancestors. Much broader distribution of polyploid apomicts may have been achieved due to faster colonization mediated by uniparental reproductive system.
Chromosomal speciation processes gain increasing attention in plant systematics and evolution, and new approaches revealed a high diversity in chromosome numbers even within recognized taxa. Reliable counts linked to known accessions are thus needed yet often hardly available. We present a new online database for chromosome counts and ploidy estimates of the flora of Germany with a detailed documentation of the examined material, and its sampling locality. The chromosome database builds upon a relational database and includes standardized taxon identification, study date, georeferenced locality and additional collection as well as publication details from which the karyological information was extracted. In order to reach the best compatibility with other botanical publications of the study region, taxonomic concepts and nomenclature follow the ‘‘Rothmaler’’, a widely accepted field flora of vascular plants in Germany. Our online database is available at http://chromosomes.senckenberg.de . The site consists of the main page with project information, a search tool, an interactive map display, a contact and a data submission form. The zoomable map shows the localities of the search result, allows to refine the geographic search as well as to select individual data points.