Biomorphology of species of the genus Trifolium L. in the Russian Far East

Botanical Garden-Institute FEB RAS, Vladivostok, Russia

The range of many species in the genus Trifolium has expanded as a result of their use as agricultural crops. Within the territory of the Russian Far East there are 15 species of the genus Trifolium, of which 11 are exotic and only 4 are native. Species are morphologically herbaceous mono- or polycarpic, and are differentiated on the basis of above- and belowground parts. In the aboveground parts of Far Eastern species of the genus we have identified two types of shoots: extended (T. arvense) and semi-rosette (T. pratense, T. repens). Structural and biomorphological analysis of the belowground parts showed that there are species (T. lupinaster, T. pacificum, T. gordejevii), characterized by a high degree of multiplicity and ability to adapt to changing environmental conditions. Due to fluctuations in environmental parameters of habitat (moisture content, soil structure) species with taproots after the transition to adult vegetative or generative age states convert to fibrillose root or rhizomatous structure. Multiplicity is primarily typical for perennial species of the genus in question, but there are a number of annual clovers, which are also capable of changing their biomorphological structure. These species include T. compestre, the direction of the shoot growth of which depends on the light conditions in its habitat. Using multivariate classification as proposed by Zhukova (2012), we identified 3 types and 2 subtypes and a multiplicity of life forms of species of the genus Trifolium in the Russian Far East: structural (morphological, size-related), reproductive, and environmental. There are also species, the life form of which does not change. Such species we characterize as monomorphic.

2012 Organizing Committee