Concealed diversity: taxonomical, phytogeographical and phytosociological notes on brambles (Rubus L. subgen. Rubus) in north-west Europe

Research output: Thesisinternal PhD, WU

Abstract

Rubus subgen. Rubus (bramble) is one of the large plant genera in Europe, consisting of only a few sexual biological species and at least 700 apomictic lineages. In this thesis, it is argued that the stabilised apomict lineages should best be regarded species, even if their distribution area doesn’t meet the requirements of a regional species as defined in several publications by Weber. Included is a checklist of Dutch bramble species, comprising 191 species belonging to Rubus subgen. Rubus. In the Netherlands, 97 of the 191 species are classified as regional species, with a distribution area diameter under 500 km. On the basis of distribution data of bramble species in Ireland, the UK, Denmark, Germany, and the Netherlands, 12 phytogeographical bramble-regions are distinguished. Although ecological factors play a role in the realisation of these regions, it is argued that the found patterns are primarily the result of evolutionary processes. The density and species composition of Rubus scrubs in the Netherlands is studied using landscape transects. At landscape scale, the  bramble species in the scrubs are not randomly distributed, causing a spatial clustering of floristically similar bramble scrubs. It was concluded that only a part of the diversity of Rubus scrubs was accounted for in the Dutch national vegetation classification, and a new scrub type (the Rubetum taxandriae) was described on the basis of these findings. Rubus scrubs are an important biotope for rare shrub species and endemic Rubus species. Additionally, scrubs rich in bramble species are important because they provide foraging and nesting habitats for numerous vertebrates and invertebrates. It is recommended to include the apomict Rubus species in biodiversity accounts, for instance in the national standard list of plant species, as well as the Red List.

Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Wageningen University
Supervisors/Advisors
  • Schaminee, Joop, Promotor
  • Bijlsma, Rienk Jan, Co-promotor
Award date4 Apr 2017
Place of PublicationWageningen
Publisher
Print ISBNs9789463431019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Keywords

  • rubus
  • diversity
  • taxonomy
  • phytogeography
  • geographical distribution
  • biogeography
  • apomixis
  • northwestern europe

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