August 14, 2019

Our new paper on the glacial and postglacial history of xerothermic flora in Central and Eastern Europe has been published in Flora.

In an analysis of the phylogeographic pattern of Carlina acanthifolia subsp. utzka, led by Ela Cieślak from our group, molecular methods based on several systems of markers (AFLP, cpDNA and ETS) were used to infer potential historical scenarios which influenced the species’ extant range in Central-Eastern-Southern Europe. Geographical distribution pattern of haplotypes which represented an old genetic lineage indicates that the ancestral areas of C. acanthifolia subsp. utzka present populations from northern part of its range (Central Europe) were located in the southern areas (Balkan Peninsula). However, high genetic differentiation between geographical regions of Central and Southern Europe could also reflect presence of northern glacial refugia for temperate grassland species. Barriers between these regions may be maintained by the climatic conditions in glacial and interglacial periods. In turn, genetic connection of C. acanthifolia subsp. utzka between Central and Eastern Europe was likely due to re-colonization of the latter areas throughout the northern part of the range. Overall, presence of several refugia not only in the South, but also in Central and Eastern Europe, can be hypothesized. Moreover, a striking genetic divergence between the southern and northern Balkan Peninsula was observed reflecting a diversified biogeographical history of this area.


Cieślak E, Drobniak S, 2019. Phylogeography of xerothermic Carlina acanthifolia subsp. utzka in Central Europe. Flora 253: 76–86. DOI