Panarctic Flora


342211 Festuca viviparoidea subsp. viviparoidea Krajina ex Pavlick


Svalbard - Franz Joseph Land: Frequent
Polar Ural - Novaya Zemlya: Frequent
Yamal - Gydan: Rare
Taimyr - Severnaya Zemlya: Frequent
West Chukotka: Scattered
Wrangel Island: Frequent
South Chukotka: Scattered
East Chukotka: Frequent
Western Alaska: Scattered
Northern Alaska - Yukon: Frequent
Ellesmere Island: Rare
Eastern Greenland: Scattered
Northern arctic Tundra: Rare
Mid Arctic Tundra: Frequent
Southern Arcti Tundra: Frequent
Shrub Tundra: Frequent
Bordering boreal or alpine areas: Frequent

2n= (1) 28 (4x). - Siberia (N), Far East (N). - Zhukova and Petrovsky (1971); Krogulevich (1976a).
(2) 49 52 (7x). - Europe (N), Siberia (N), Far East (N), Greenland. - Several reports.
(3) 56 (8x). - Far East (N), Alaska. - At least four reports.
(4) ca. 63 (9x). - Alaska. - Holmen (1964, three counts).

Geography: Amphi-Atlantic - European (N) - Asian (NW) & amphi-Beringian: NOR RUS SIB RFE ALA CAN GRL.

Notes: Subspecies krajinae Pavlick occurs in western (Cordilleran) North America.

Elven: As seen from Frederiksen's (1981) map, her concept of F. vivipara subsp. glabra included plants from two large and well separated regions: one broadly amphi-Atlantic from northern and eastern Greenland across Svalbard and Novaya Zemlya to Taimyr, and one broadly amphi-Beringian from the Russian Far East across Alaska to northwesternmost mainland Canada (the British Moutains). The gaps between these two parts of the range are about 80 longitude in North America and about 60 in Siberia. One obvious question is then whether the plants in these two regions are the same, i.e., of the same parentage if hybridogeneous. The two regions have partly different assemblages of possible extant sexual progenitors. In both parts are found F. baffinensis, F. brachyphylla, F. edlundiae, F. hyperborea, and F. saximontana; in the amphi-Atlantic part F. ovina and F. groenlandica; and in the amphi-Beringian part F. auriculata, F. brevissima, F. lenesis, and F. kolymensis. Note also the wide span in ploidy levels with the highest numbers restricted to Beringia. The currently applied names, subsp. glabra and F. viviparoidea, are based on the same Greenland type and belong to the amphi-Atlantic part.

Alexeev (1985) assumed F. viviparoidea to be a viviparous offspring from F. brachyphylla, presumably due to similarity in leaf anatomy. Frederiksen (1981) explicitly stated that she found F. viviparoidea (as F. vivipara subsp. glabra) to belong to the F. ovina group, not the F. brachyphylla group: "This species has very often been connected with F. brachyphylla, and morphologically it looks very much like this species. In the few cases where anthers were observed, they were about 2 mm. As F. brachyphylla is very distinct on account of its very short anthers, rarely if ever exceeding 1.2 mm (Frederiksen 1977), and as F. brachyphylla has the leaf sheaths partly split while they are always open in F. vivipara, no close connection seems to exist between these two taxa. On the other hand F. vivipara subsp. glabra in nearly all examined characters seems isolated from the two other subspecies; thus it possibly has another origin". I share that opinion concerning the North Atlantic plants. Pavlick (1984, followed by Darbyshire and Pavlick 2007) reported the anthers of also northwestern North American F. viviparoidea, when present, to be of "ovina"-group length, about three times as long as in F. brachyphylla. It is therefore unlikely that any parts of F. viviparoidea (or of the F. vivipara aggregate) are direct derivatives of F. brachyphylla or of species of the F. brachyphylla aggregate, but F. brachyphylla and/or its relatives may be part of the parentage together with some long-anther species. There is no such long-anther species in common between the amphi-Atlantic and amphi-Beringian regions except for F. saximontana which is reported with intermediate anther lengths of (0.8) 1.2-1.7 (2) mm (Darbyshire and Pavlick 2007). From other morphological evidence, F. saximontana is not a very likely direct progenitor. If F. viviparoidea s. lat. is hybridogeneous with long-anther species in its parentage, it is therefore probable that the amphi-Atlantic plant (F. viviparoidea s. str.) and the amphi-Beringian one have different parentages.

Aiken: Two or three vegetatively proliferating Festuca specimens have been collected from northeastern Ellesmere Island. It is strongly suspected that they represent no more than environmentally induced vegetative proliferation that can occur under extreme conditions, but this has not been investigated. Porsild (1957) mentioned F. vivipara (L.) Sm., noting that the Canadian specimens are similar to F. baffinensis and F. brachyphylla, but the panicle is always proliferous. A specimen at CAN that was annotated by Signe Frederiksen in 1987 as F. vivipara subsp. glabra, was collected on Ellesmere Island, Lower Dumbell Lake (water supply lake for Alert) growing in moist herbmat, leg. C.R. Harrington 201, 18. Aug. 1959. An extensive search in 1992 to find the voucher for the mapped record from Ellesmere Island, Judge Daily Promontory (Frederiksen 1981) was unsuccessful. The CAN specimen from the Canadian Arctic may be a F. baffinensis x brachyphylla hybrid. The plants have very young inflorescences with few definitive characteristics. The type specimen of F. viviparoidea subsp. krajinae was collected by G. Argus and E. Haber in the Rocky Mountains and is considered to be vegetatively proliferating F. brachyphylla plants. I have examined the specimen and agree. Elven: However, Darbyshire and Pavlick (2007) accepted subsp. [krajinae].

Elven: Occasionally proliferating plants may obscure the Festuca pattern in parts of northern Canada. In the amphi-Atlantic and amphi-Beringian regions, the viviparous plants are common, ecologically and morphologically consistent, often occur in the absence of seminiferous relatives, and evidently constitute three or four taxa.

Higher Taxa