ISSN 1062-3590, Biology Bulletin, 2017, Vol. 44, No. 10, pp. 1237–1245. © Pleiades Publishing, Inc., 2017.
Original Russian Text © A.S. Kashin, N.A. Petrova, I.V. Shilova, 2016, published in Povolzhskii Ekologicheskii Zhurnal, 2016, No. 2, pp. 209–221.
Some Features of the Environmental Strategy of Tulipa gesneriana L.
A. S. Kashin*, N. A. Petrova, and I. V. Shilova
Botanical Garden, Chernyshevskii Saratov State National Research University, Saratov, 410010 Russia
Received October 17, 2015
Abstract—The vitality of 31 natural populations of Tulipa gesneriana is based on our field surveys that were
conducted in several parts of European Russia from 2013 to 2015. The basic factors that affect the vitality of
the T. gesneriana population were revealed according to the results of the analysis of 14 morphological param-
eters of T. gesneriana. Cattle grazing was the most essential factor. The effect of other negative factors is much
lower. On the whole, the mixed stress-tolerant and ruderal ecological cenotic strategy is characteristic of the
species. For instance, an increase in the stress level leads to a decrease in the size of all aboveground organs,
which is accompanied by considerable variations in the height and diameter of plants. However, most of the
parameters, on the contrary, have a weak reduction in their variability under stress. All these features indicate
a comparatively narrow ecological amplitude of the species investigated.
Keywords: Tulipa gesneriana, population vitality, ecological cenotic strategy
Recent studies have broadly discussed the manifes-
tation of different life strategies by plants under stress
conditions (Zlobin, 1989; Ishbirdin and Ishmuratova,
2004; Ishbirdin et al., 2005). Here, the strategy is
understood as a complex of adaptations that enable the
plant to share the habitat with other organisms and
occupy a certain position in the relevant ecosystem
(Rabotnov, 1975). The types of Ramenskii–Grime
ecological cenotic strategies are the most popular and
most frequently used (Ramenskii, 1971; Grime,
1977). Each type of these strategies is characterized by
a complex of adaptive features. As a rule, the strategies
during the analysis of the plant response to an ecolog-
ical cenotic effect in cenopopulations (CPs) can be
assessed by the pattern of changes in ontogenetic
responses of a population within the ecocline.
These studies are extremely important with respect
to rare and endangered flora species during the moni-
toring of the current state of populations of these spe-
cies, as well as for studying possible causes of a decrease
in the number. Taking into account that the next (third)
edition of the Red Book of Saratov Oblast is now being
prepared, the current state of populations of protected
species in the region is of particular interest.
The object of our study is Tulipa gesneriana L.
(=T. schrenkii Regel) (Mordak, 1990). The species is
included in the Red Book of the Russian Federation
(Litvinskaya, 2008). It is located in steppes, semides-
erts, and deserts (Vvedenskii, 1935) in Eastern
Europe, Western Siberia, the Caucasus, Central Asia,
and Asia Minor (Mordak, 1979; Peregrim et al., 2009;
Everett, 2013). It occurs almost throughout the Lower
Volga region (Sagalaev, 2006). It prefers bunchgrass
and sagebrush–bunchgrass communities, as well as
steppe, rocky, and crushed stony slopes of gullies and
steppe solonetzic soils. The species flowers in late
April to early May. It is pollinated by insects; the f low-
ers are heliophilic. Only seed reproduction is possible.
It develops slowly during the first years of life. The life
time of one plant is 30 to 40 years (Litvinskaya, 2008).
According to Ramenskii’s ecological scales (Gor-
bunov et al., 2010), it grows in areas with different
moisture types, from the desert type to the dry-steppe
type (U: 9–31). However, in terms of moisture, it is a
In addition to the tilling of virgin steppes, factors
that limit the spread of this species include cattle graz-
ing and harvesting by people (Khudyakova and Davi-
The purpose of this study was to reveal the pattern
of the response of T. gesneriana populations to nega-
tive factors, as well as the type of ecological cenotic
strategy of this species.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
The vitality of T. gesneriana populations was stud-
ied for three years (from 2013 to 2015). We investigated
31 cenopopulations of this species from several grow-