The Development Of The Concept Of Plant Functional Types With Regard To Rare Species


A. A. Klimenko

Plant functional type (PFT) is a description of the main functional and structural characteristics of plant species, which ensure its vitality and adaptive capabilities. In practice, researchers choose a subset of these characteristics, based on a specific scientific task. We assessed the level of biological and ecological individuality and diversity of the whole community of the protected plant species towards plant functional types in Sumy region (Ukraine). At present, there are 150 species of protected vascular plants in Sumy region. The selection of key parameters to evaluate PFT of the protected and rare plant species has a significant limitation. The phytosozological literature contains no data which are usually taken into consideration for the widespread plant species. The biological and morphological parameters included life-form (4 levels), age (3 levels), root system (3 levels), presence and type of underground metamorphoses of the vegetative organs (5 levels), type of reproduction (5 levels). The analysis has shown that Euclidean distances are not equal to zero for a couple or a group of plant species. Each plant species has its own functional type which is characteristic only for it. Some six pairs or groups of species with the closest Euclidean distances in the range from .10 to .15 were revealed from a number of 150 examined plant species. Overall, only 13 species were considered as the similar by their functional type. The remaining 137 species have significantly large differences in their structure, biology, and ecology parameters. This result is consistent with the principle of structural and functional individuality of each of the taxonomic plant species. Based on this fact, the system of rare plant species protection in Sumy region should be individualised in accordance with the functional type of the specific protected plant species and its requirements for the ecological-coenotic environment.


Share this article