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Goniolimon tataricum L.





General data about this species can be found on this site here Also it is interesting to see the closely related Goniolimon besseranum which looks like a smaller version of Goniolimon tataricum.






This xeric sub-desert steppe species is one of the rarest in the Flora of Romania and Transylvania. In this latter region there are the following known 12 populations in Cluj, Alba and Sibiu counties (from which 6 were mapped by us). In Moldavia there is 1 locality (Galati county - Chifu, Manzu, Zamfirescu, 2006) and in the Iron Gates area (Mehedinti county - Mataca, 2005) also 1 (Schela Cladovei - Oglanic)

In Transylvania and at the scale of the whole country this a typical example of endangered species which remained to be represented by a few residual and totally isolated populations, consisting of only a few individuals. It would be a good example for implementing a series of projects to illustrate efficient management measures that should be taken in the reason to maintain this species in our flora. This is the single case of a species when we are to publish all the data availabale to us, as an example of the extreme fragility of the populations of the species proposed by us as 'endangered for the region of Transylvania' . It is used also to illustrate the critical situation within which there are many species from the flora of Romania, many of them from Transylvania, which unjustified have not their places on the national and European red and prioritary lists.

Also very important there will be the conditions of ethical biology to prevent genetical pollution: the re-enforcing processes of the small local populations should use only the local genetic material and these populations should not be mixed. Being isolated from such a long time and being also affected by the 'genetic bottleneck' and 'genetic drift' processes they should be genetically different. By using in the future the molecular clock technology the genetic differences between the different isolated populations of Transylvania and from other regions will tell us from how much time they are isolated, the migration routes of the species, etc. When there will be a lot of analyses of this kind, the data corroborated for many species will tell us about the environmental changes produced in the past which have driven and still drive the biological currents on the Earth, Should we mix the genetical material from different populations in the reason to re-inforce some local populations - we will loose these precious genetical archives which are to be interpreted in the future.

Transylvanian Plain (Campia Transilvaniei) - on six spots from which only three are known to us. The populations in the area are very small, totally isolated at the top of some tall (for the region) broadly triangular sharp peaks called 'Tigle'.

The population from Mihesu de Campie (Mures county)

The population from Zau de Campie (Mures county)

The population from Taureni (Mures county, unknown location)

The population from Boju (Cluj county, unknown location)

The population from Cojocna (Cluj county, unknown location)

The population from Puini (Cluj county)

A population discovered and mentioned by Cristea V. et al. from Frata area (unknown location)

Tarnave Tableland - here there are known also five spots but the populations seems a lot larger than the ones in the previous region and seemingly there are many other unknown locations especially in the western part of the region (between the two Secas rivers).

The population from Miercurea Sibiului (Sibiu county, unknown location)

The population from Sebes - Rapa Rosie (Alba county, uncharted location)

The population from Blaj - Dealul Crucii (Alba county)

The population from Rosia de Secas (Alba county)

Cluj and DejHills - two locations are known from here, the westernmost in the whole Transylvania and the whole country, being also placed at the western border of the species' range (though the western most populations are placed in the Pannonian Basin / Serbia ar Deliblata Pescara / Deliblat Sands).

The population from Sannicoara - Apahida (Cluj county)

The population from Apahida - Valea Calda (Cluj county, probably disappeared population)

The ecology of this species is interesting. It is linked most of the times with the xeric sub-desert like grasslands from the alliance Artemisio-Kochion and is a steady presence in the sub-desert grasslands from the eastern Pontic and north Caspian areas. Westwards, in Ukraine, Moldova, Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia it grows in two kind of situations:

a. at the very top of the hills and the upper part of sunny terraces flanks on wind exposed and very dry locations usually in the sub-desert like grasslands dominated by Agropyron cristatum ssp. pectinatum

b. in sand dune locations (like in Serbia, at Deliblata Pescara / Deliblat Sands)

Below, there is a Google Earth map with the localities of Goniolimon tataricum from Transylvania, Pannonia, Valachia, Moldavia, Ludogorie (Pre-Balkans), Dobrudja (that means the west extermity of the range of this species). The magenta diamonds from the Transylvanian Basin correspond to the localities mapped by us from Apahida-Sannicoara, Puini, Zau de Campie, Mihesu de Campie, Blaj, Rosia de Secas. The six magenta points from the Transylvanian Basin represent the localities which were mentioned in the XIXth and XXth centuries and were not yet re-discovered (Boju, Cojocna, Taureni, Ludus, Miercurea Sibiului, Rapa Rosie-Sebes).

As it can be seen, most of the Romanian localities of this steppe species (as well as in the case of many others from the same cathegory) are placed in Transylvania despite the fact that in Moldavia, Valachia and Dobrudja there are much wider areas of steppe and forest-steppe. Unfortunately most of them are very small.

Also from the distribution of the localities on the map, it seems that this species migrated from the steppes north from the Black Sea through southern Moldavia, Dobrudja, northern Bulgaria, southerh part of the Pannonian Basin and finally through Mures defile Lipova-Deva into the Transylvanian Basin where it remained confined in its western more arid part, usually associated with the classic sub-desert like steppe grasslands dominated by Agropyron cristatum ssp. pectinatum.


Fig. 1 - Google Earth distribution of the localities with Goniolimon tataricum in Bulgaria, Romania and Serbia. The six localities from Transylvania which were mapped are represented with magenta diamonds.
























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