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Abstract Detail

Systematics Section/ASPT

Zink, Jacob [1], Ballard, Harvey [2].

Viola nephrophylla Greene in the eastern United States—new distributional records and habitat associations for an overlooked violet.

The genus Viola is diverse, with 550-625 species in temperate and montane tropical areas nearly worldwide. One of the most challenging and notorious groups in the genus is the acaulescent blue violets, Subsection Boreali-Americanae, with taxonomic treatments varying wildly among specialists. Some taxa are superficially similar at flowering time although they may be very different in many traits during fruit, and such taxon pairs are often misidentified or simply passed over in the field or herbarium. The Northern Bog Violet, Viola nephrophylla Greene, is such a violet, largely unknown over most of its eastern U.S. range because of its superficial similarity in leaves and flowers to the widespread and abundant Common Blue Violet, Viola sororia Willd. (especially its glabrous phenotypes) and the boreal and montane Northern Woodland Violet, Viola septentrionalis Greene. The Northern Bog Violet inhabits open wetlands such as fens and wet prairies, and alvar and limestone cobble shores, all strongly calcareous, while the Common Blue Violet thrives in circumneutral to slightly acidic loam soils of closed-canopy dry-mesic to wet-mesic forests, and the Northern Woodland Violet prefers sandy or rocky loam of mixed hardwood forests, often on limestone in the east. Flowering plants of the three are subtly different and separated by traits of foliage, sepals, auricles, and bottom petal bearding, but in fruit they are immediately distinct in fruiting peduncle, capsule color and seed color. The reported eastern range of the Northern Bog Violet extends into Michigan, Ontario, New York and the New England states, reaching southward to three counties along Lake Erie in northern Ohio. Three West Virginia records remain unconfirmed. In the last three years, field botanists in Ohio have become familiar with diagnostic traits and characteristic habitats of the Northern Bog Violet, and have found several new populations in west-central Ohio, including populations in prairie fens and in remnant calcareous oak savannas with seasonally fluctuating water table (a new habitat association). Our 2013 fieldwork in the mountains of western Virginia resulted in four disjunct populations of the Northern Bog Violet, two in open dry to moist sites associated with limestone or travertine, and two sites at a limestone spring head or in a calcareous fen. Our short foray into certain fens and limestone-bordered rivers in West Virginia failed to locate the violet. It should be sought throughout the mid-Appalachian region in strongly calcareous sites.

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1 - Ohio University, Environmental & Plant Biology, 315 Porter Hall, Athens, OH, 45701, USA
2 - Ohio University, ENVIR & PLANT BIOLOGY-PORTER H, 315 Porter Hall, Athens, OH, 45701-2979, USA

Viola nephrophylla
range extension
habitat association.

Presentation Type: Poster:Posters for Sections
Session: P
Location: Eyrie/Boise Centre
Date: Monday, July 28th, 2014
Time: 5:30 PM
Number: PSY027
Abstract ID:309
Candidate for Awards:None

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