Gudžinskas Z., Rasimavičius M.

Variation in hip and sepal parameters of invasive Rosa rugosa between sites and years

Abstract Rosa rugosa is among the most invasive species in Europe, and it is considered a severe threat to the diversity and stability of coastal habitats. In Lithuania, it is a widespread invasive species occurring in coastal and inland areas. This research aimed to estimate the variation in R. rugosa hip and sepal parameters within and among sites from coastal and inland areas, and investigate the effects of environmental factors on the hip and sepal sizes. Field studies were performed at four coastal and three inland sites in 2008, and the studies were repeated in 2016. We collected 100 mature hips at each site and measured the hip width, hip length and sepal length. We analysed variation in hip and sepal parameters between the study years, and the effect of meteorological factors and agrochemical properties of the soil on hip and sepal sizes. This study revealed significant variation in R. rugosa hip width, hip length and sepal length among the studied sites. The largest hips and sepals were found in the coastal habitat at the Smeltė site, whereas the smallest hips and sepals were recorded in inland habitat at the Staviškės site, where R. rugosa occurred in woodland. The comparison of hip and sepal sizes at the same sites during two study years revealed irregular variation. Mean hip width and mean length of sepals in 2008 were significantly more prominent than in 2016, whereas no significant differences in hip length were found between the study years. The content of phosphorus in the soil negatively correlated, whereas the content of carbonates positively correlated with the sepal length. A strong negative relationship was found between the sunshine duration and hip length and width ratio. However, the revealed relationships of the hip and sepal parameters with the environmental factors could be a coincidence or a result of the cumulative effect of the multiple factors’ interaction and should be investigated separately.


Keywords coastal habitats, fruits, inland habitats, meteorological factors, reproductive traits, shrub, soil properties

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