ISSN 10674136, Russian Journal of Ecology, 2014, Vol. 45, No. 3, pp. 215–222. © Pleiades Publishing, Ltd., 2014.
The yellow horned poppy,
Crantz., is a shortlived latexbearing perennial herb.
It is found mainly in calcareous soils on sand dunes,
cliffs and shingle beaches from the Black Sea through
southern and western to northwestern Europe (Scott,
1963). Like many other plants of the family Papaver
contains benzylisoquinoline alka
loids, some of which have therapeutic properties (Kint
surashvili and Vachnadze, 2000). At present,
is included in various IUCN categories in certain parts
of its distribution area (e.g. ‘Critically Endangered’ in
Norway and ‘Endangered’ in Romania), and several
authors have reported the retreat of its populations in
many parts of Europe (e.g. Rappé, 1984; Prieto et al.,
2007; Solås et al., 2007).
In most of its distribution area,
to the strong seasonal effects of the Mediterranean cli
mate. This climate offers contrasting challenges for
plant growth that oscillate between hot, arid summers
with high irradiance and cool winters with irregular
rainfall and episodic frosts (Figueroa et al., 1997). The
flora of coastal dunes, shingle and rocky beaches are
also exposed to other adverse physical conditions,
such as the influence of saltspray, lack of fresh water
and/or nutrient scarcity (Packham and Willis, 1997).
Although recent studies under greenhouse conditions
have indicated the high tolerance of
potential stress factors (Cambrollé et al., 2011a, b), little
is known about the ecophysiology of this coastal spe
cies in its natural habitat. The clear lack of information
about the effects of environmental conditions on the
and the cited reduction of its
distribution area highlight the need to expand the
knowledge about this Mediterranean coastal species.
The aim of this work was to describe the ecophysi
ological features of
under natural condi
tions. For this purpose, levels of gaseous exchange,
chlorophyll fluorescence, photosynthetic pigments,
leaf water content, and both foliar and soil concentra
tions of nitrogen, phosphorus, sulphur, potassium,
Seasonal Ecophysiology of an Endangered Coastal Species,
the Yellowhorned Poppy (
J. Cambrollé, S. RedondoGómez, E. MateosNaranjo, T. Luque, and M. E. Figueroa
Departamento de Biología Vegetal y Ecología, Facultad de Biología, Universidad de Sevilla,
Apartado 1095, 41080 Sevilla, España
Received August 10, 2011
Crantz. is a shortlived perennial herb distributed in coastal zones from the Black
Sea to southern, western and northwestern Europe. Despite its diminishing area of distribution and potential
pharmacological value, little is known about the ecophysiological features of this coastal species. We investi
gated the photosynthetic performance of
by measuring gas exchange, chlorophyll fluorescence,
photosynthetic pigment concentration and leaf water content over the space of a year in a coastal habitat of
SW Spain. We also measured the variation in total concentrations of nitrogen, phosphorus, sulphur, potas
sium, calcium and magnesium, in the leaves and soil, throughout the study period.
showed a high
resistance to summer drought conditions which appeared to be due to the high degree of stomatal control.
The potential photochemical efficiency of photosystem II showed minimum values during the winter, indi
cating that low temperatures can produce negative effects within the photosynthetic apparatus. However, the
marked decline in net photosynthesis during the winter seems to be mainly related to a loss of metabolic activ
ity. Although leaf nutrient concentrations were, in general, within the normal ranges, phosphorus availability
seems to be limited by the high calcium concentrations detected in the soil of the study site. Our study points
out the efficiency of the different physiological adaptations of this rare and endangered coastal species in cop
ing with the strong seasonal variability of the Mediterranean climate.
: ecophysiology, coastal flora,
, photosynthesis, nutrients
The article is published in the original.
: A, net photosynthetic rate; Chl
; Ci, intercellular CO
, minimal fluorescence level in the darkadapted
, maximal fluorescence level in the darkadapted state;
, steady state fluorescence yield; F
, variable fluorescence level
in the darkadapted state; F
, maximum quantum efficiency
of PSII photochemistry;
PSII, quantum efficiency of PSII; Gs,
stomatal conductance; LWC, leaf water content; NPQ, nonpho
tochemical quenching; RGR, relative growth rate.