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Universidad Politecnica de Madrid (2015)

Taxonomía y caracterización del arbusto forrajero Atriplex halimus L.

Ortiz Dorda, Jaime

Titre : Taxonomía y caracterización del arbusto forrajero Atriplex halimus L.

Auteur : Ortiz Dorda, Jaime

Université de soutenance : E.T.S.I. Agrónomos (UPM) Universidad Politecnica de Madrid

Grade : Thesis (Doctoral) 2015

The aim of this Thesis has been in the revision of the infraspecies taxa of Atriplex halimus L., the delimitation of their natural growing area and their morphological characterization. Using references to relevant literature and consultation of herbariums, it has been possible to map the distribution of the species as spontaneous plant in the Mediterranean Basin, Desert of Syria, Massif of Hoggar and Western Sahara. The remaining populations must be considered as naturalized or cultivated. The current taxonomy, based on phylogenetic relationships, indicates that A.halimus should be divided in two clades. These clades are characterized by their different ploidy level. Samples of nineteen populations collected from localizations between the defined distribution area of both clades have been characterized for their ploidy level. As a result, it can be seen that the line of clade separation can be trazed from Istambul tothe Strait of Gibraltar, where the populations north to this line are classified as diploid and those south of the line are clsassified as tetraploid. The only exception of this rule is in Sardinia, hwre populations to the West and South of the Island are also classified as tetraploid. The morphological parameters, which include the characterization of both clades, have been defined, and the study of fifty-two populations from the entire distribution area according to these parameters have been analysed. The qualitative and quantitative characteristics of the fruit valves have been evaluated, with seedlings grown in a culture chamber, and 2-4 years old shrubs grown in the same orchard. None of the morphological characters under study are fully reliable to determine whether individuals in a population belong to clade diploid or tetraploid. This is despite measurements being made on populations grown under the same conditions of soil and climate, and in very favorable conditions for the expression of qualitative and quantitative traits. The qualitative characteristics that show a higher correlation with the ploidy level are : the base of the leaves of the seedlings, the bearing bush, the branch arrangement, the angle of insertion of the branches and the inflorescence length. With regards to the quantitative data the most relevant were the length of the cotyledons and the length of the blade of the 1st, 3rd or 5th leaves of the seedling, and the ratio of any of this values and the leaf blade width. The only reliable way to determine the diploid or tetraploid clade membership is the measurement of ploidy level.


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