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Chemical and Morphological Variation in the Cetraria islandica Complex in Iceland

Hörđur Kristinsson
The Bryologist
Vol. 72, No. 3 (Autumn, 1969), pp. 344-357
DOI: 10.2307/3241694
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3241694
Page Count: 14
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Chemical and Morphological Variation in the Cetraria islandica Complex in Iceland
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Abstract

A study of the collective lichen species Cetraria islandica (L.) Ach. based upon some 3,000 individuals from 100 localities in Iceland shows that the extreme morphological variation is not correlated with the chemical variation (presence or absence of fumarprotocetraric acid). This is in striking contrast to the high correlation of chemical and morphological characters in this species complex on the European mainland, which serves there as the basis for the separation of C. islandica sens. str. and C. ericetorum Opiz. Differences in the geographical distribution of the chemical characters, fertility, and the range of morphological variability indicate that there are two ecological races in Iceland: 1) a fumarprotocetraric acid-producing, nonfertile race with rather narrow morphological variability, mainly distributed along the coasts and in the more oceanic southern part of the country, and 2) a morphologically and chemically variable race (with or without fumarprotocetraric acid), frequently fertile, and distributed throughout the Central Highlands and northern Iceland. In the latter race, the frequent occurrence of both chemical types within the same morpho-phenotype at individual localities indicates that gene exchange may occur between the fumarprotocetraric acid-producing and the fumarprotocetraric acid-lacking plants.

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