810711-15 The Pedicularis sudetica aggregate P. albolabiata, P. arctoeuropaea, P. interior, P. novaiae-zemliae, P. pacifica
Geography: Nearly circumpolar-alpine.
Notes: Elven: The Pedicularis sudetica aggregate includes the geographically isolated central European P. sudetica Willd., Sp. Pl. 3, 1: 209, 1800, described from the Sudeten Mountains (Germany/Czech Republic), and a series of taxa occupying a nearly circumpolar range from the Murman area throughout northern Eurasia and northern North America to northwestern Greenland. There are two main approaches to the aggregate, one as a series of races (subspecies) by Hultén (1961) followed by, e.g., Hultén (1968a) and Ivanina (1980b), another as a group of species by Molau and Murray (1996). The two approaches differ in the number of taxa accepted, in how these are circumscribed (as comparatively restricted and allopatric to parapatric or as much broader and largely sympatric), and in how they are related to P. sudetica s. str.
Hultén considered the aggregate to consist of seven races of P. sudetica with allopatric to parapatric ranges: subspp. sudetica, arctoeuropaea, novaiae-zemliae, interioroides, albolabiata, pacifica, and interior. Hultén's approach was adopted by Ivanina (1980b) where an eight race was added: subsp. gymnostachya. Ivanina's arguments in her PAF proposal for treatment as subspecies of P. sudetica were: "Pedicularis sudetica subsp. arctoeuropaea on Kola Peninsula is very variable, some specimens being much similar to subsp. sudetica, whereas material from other parts of the territory of arctic Europaean Russia is very close to subsp. novaiae-zemliae. Similar situations are found in other areas for other races of the species".
Molau and Murray (1996) revised the arctic material of the complex as four species with largely sympatric ranges centered in Beringia. The ranges of two of their species - P. arctoeuropaea and P. interior - are very much extended compared with Hultén and Russian authors.
Murray: When we examined authentic material of P. sudetica Willd., it was clear, on morphological and geographical grounds, that there were reasons to treat this species as restricted to central Europe - not as one closely related to the other taxa that have heretofore comprised the so-called complex. We could not support a taxonomy that links all the other forms from arctic Europe, Asia, and America to P. sudetica. It is spectacularly disjunct from the other taxa and most certainly has not shared their evolutionary history for millions of years, if ever. Moreover, the other taxa linked to P. sudetica, mainly as subspecies (and varieties of subspecies), do not fulfill the definition of subspecies adopted by PAF.
When it came to deciding the limits of the four species accepted by Molau and Murray (1996) - P. albolabiata, P. arctoeuropaea, P. interior, and P. pacifica - the amount of variation within taxa was great, and we decided that many names and combinations were superfluous. Whereas there is geographic sympatry, there is clear ecological separation in nature of one species from another. Recognizing variability on one hand and ecological preferences on the other, we reduced the number of taxa and treated them as distinct species. Admittedly, in the herbarium, distinguishing some specimens can require close inspection; in the field, the differences are very clear. Our taxonomy emphasizes those differences.
Elven: Intermediates between the taxa - although suggested - have not been documented in spite of extensive sympatry (quite often within sites). Therefore, we decide to treat the taxa as species rather than races. One species is added compared with Molau and Murray (1996): Pedicularis novaiae-zemliae. Two proposed subspecies or species are tentatively reduced to synonymy: subspp. gymnostachyae and interioides. The name "P. sudetica aggregate" is retained for convenience as there is no consensus as to whether P. sudetica s. str. belongs with the arctic representatives in an aggregate or not. It may well be a Pleistocene segregate from one of the species currently present in northeastern Europe. There are numerous aggregates with similar patterns of European isolates, e.g., the Anemone narcissiflora, the Astragalus australis, and the Swertia perennis aggregates. It is likely that an experimental approach to this intricate group could give results different from both the current, morphologically based approaches and also relevant for a large number of other, disjunct and polymorphic arctic-alpine groups with ranges assumed to have been disrupted during the Pleistocene glaciations.
- Pedicularis [8107,genus]