An Analysis of Morphological Variation in Abies koreana Wilson and A. nephrolepis (Traut.) Maxim. of Korea (Pinaceae) and Their Phylogenetic Problems

한국산(韓國産) 분비나무와 구상나무의 형질분석(形質分析)과 종간유연관계(種間類緣關係)

  • Chang, Chin-Sung (Division of Life Science) ;
  • Jeon, Jeong Ill (Kwanak Arboretum and Dept. of Forest Resources, Agriculture and Life Science, Seoul National University) ;
  • Hyun, Jung Oh (Kwanak Arboretum and Dept. of Forest Resources, Agriculture and Life Science, Seoul National University)
  • 장진성 (수원대학교 생명과학부) ;
  • 전정일 (서울대학교 농업생명과학대학 산림자원학과 및 관악수목원) ;
  • 현정오 (서울대학교 농업생명과학대학 산림자원학과 및 관악수목원)
  • Received : 1997.06.27
  • Published : 1997.09.30


Ten total populations of Korean fir (Abies koreana Wilson) and Manshurian fir [A. nephrolepis (Traut.) Maxim.] were sampled from south Korea to investigate patterns of intraspecific variation in these species and to evaluate a recognition of the two species. Principal components analysis and cluster analysis were performed both on seed-cone data and on needle morphology data. The characters that contributed most to the separation between A. koreana and A. nephrolepis along three principal components axis were leaf width, length of seed, width of seed wing, length of seed wing, cone width, width of scale, and length of bract tip, but these characters were not diagnostic because of overlap in reality. Therefore, all these characters were not reliable in distinguishing these two taxa including bract position (exerted and recurved vs. exerted and straight). The individuals of A. koreana from Mt. Chi-ri appeared quite unique probably on account of its larger cone size and longer scale tip, while those from Mt. Hal-la of A. koreana were generally distinct from others in terms of their larger seed and seed wing and longer scale width. The Mt. Duk-yu specimens of A. korecana appeared somewhat smaller but more data were needed due to the small sampling size. Generally, the gradual clinal geographic trends made evident by the position of resin ducts in leaves of A. koreana can be detected. The southern populations, Mt. Hal-la (an insular population) were generally distinct from the northern populations (Mt. Chi-ri, Mt. Ga-ya and Mt. Duk-yu) in terms of their position of resin duct (medial, within mesophyll vs marginal, close to epidermis : 100% vs 75 or 50%). Although no sharp boundary separating these two species could be detected based on cone and needle morphology, the observed clinal pattern was distinct in northern populations of A. koreana and southern population of A. nephrnlepis. In a preceding study of the flavonoids variation of 20 species in eastern Asia, flavanone (5-deoxyflavanone) was found to be characteristic of A. faxoniana Rehder et Wilson, A. georgei Orr of China and A. koreana of Korea. A. faxoniana, which is assumed to be primitive species, has position of resin duct relative to both the medial and the marginal, while A. georgei and A. koreana are identified by marginal position of resin duct. With respect of foliar flavonoids chemistry, A. koreana was distinct from A. nephrolepis : the southmost samples (Mt. Hal-la and Mt. Chi-ri) contained additional flavonoids derivatives (mainly flavanone) that were not found in the northmost samples of A. nephrolepis except a few individuals from Mts. Seo-rak and Tae-bak populations of Kwang-won province. The presence of A. koreana type flavonoids in two Chinese species suggested that position of resin duct may be a phyletic character. Abies koreana including two Chinese taxa, exhibited the most elaborate and specialized flavonoids profile within the Abies in eastern Asia. Contrary to our initial expectations, the apparent intermediates between A. nephrolepis and A. koreana in Duk-yu and Ga-ya mountains were found. The pattern of variation on position of resin duct and flavonoids chemistry in these populations of A. kareana suggested that genetic interchange or natural hybridization had occurred between these two species. The evidence needed to resolve the status of this taxon is still inconclusive in our opinion until intermediate individuals from Mts. Duk-yu and Ga-ya show indication of hybridization between the two species.


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