Panarctic Flora


343209-11 The Puccinellia nutkaënsis aggregate P. coarctata, P. laurentiana, P. lucida

Geography: Amphi-Atlantic & American Pacific.

Notes: Soreng et al. (2003) and Davis and Consaul (2007), following Consaul and Gillespie (2001), synonymized the names Puccinellia coarctata, P. laurentiana, P. lucida, and P. capillaris subsp. borealis, all based on North Atlantic plants, under the priority name P. nutkaënsis based on plants from Pacific Canada. Puccinellia nutkaënsis s. str. does not reach the Arctic. The majority of arctic material has been named P. coarctata, whereas P. laurentiana is reported to reach the Arctic in western Greenland and P. lucida at Hudson Bay.

We are not happy with this merger. We have compared the main North Atlantic plant (P. coarctata) with Pacific P. nutkaënsis and find them quite different morphologically. We have not seen any Atlantic plants similar to the Pacific ones. The disjunction between Pacific and Atlantic part ranges is unparalleled in other Puccinellias. The distribution of and relations between hexaploid and octoploid plants should be better analysed. The northern European plants (P. coarctata) are quite difficult to keep apart from P. capillaris, a species which has not been drawn into the discussion previous to the North American merger. And, the collective species P. nutkaënsis as regarded by Soreng et al. (2003) and Davis and Consaul (2007) becomes difficult to characterize. We therefore enter P. coarctata, P. laurentiana, and P. lucida as species within a P. nutkaënsis aggregate.

Puccinellia nutkaënsis (J. Presl) Fernald & Weath., Rhodora 18: 22 (1916) [Poa nutkaënsis J. Presl, Reliq. Haenk. 1: 272 (1830); holotype (PR): Canada: British Columbia, "Nootka-Sund" Vancouver Island, leg. Hänke].

Higher Taxa