NEW DISTRIBUTION DATA FOR THE ENDEMIC SPECIES EPIPACTIS GUEGELII ROBATSCH (ORCHIDACEAE) IN THE WESTERN SIDE OF ROMANIAN PUBLISHEDSTEIU Corina None email@example.com
The endemic species Epipactis guegelii Robatsch is considered a very local and rare one among the Epipactis genus. Epipactis guegelii was described in 1996 by Karl Robatsch from the Danube Delta, the Letea Forest. Just after some years, in 2008 this species had another publication record by Wolfgang Wucherphennig who revisited Letea Forest. He traveled in this isolated area with the purpose to study this very little known Epipactis species among other rare orchid species like E. danubialis Robatsch § Rydlo which grows together with E. guegelii in this remote area. As a result of his investigations he reconfirmed the presence of this two species in this area and clarified their status, proved that E. danubialis Robatsch § Rydlo is identical to E. persica (Soó) Hausskn. ex Nannf. and E. guegelii Robatsch to be considered a distinct species from E. helleborine. It is known that the taxonomy of the genus Epipactis as being difficult because of the particularity of morphological aspects needed for identification. These morphological characters of Epipactis genus are observed in most cases just in fresh blooming plants. When studying herbarium specimens of this genus the most important diagnostic characters that differentiate similar species cannot be observed anymore. After more than 20 years since the first description of E. guegelii, we found E. guegelii in the western side of the country, in three locations, in the riparian/alluvial forests of the Banat region. With this new observation data on the E. guegelii the chorology of this species is extended much further from its original eastern habitat. This new location data from the Banat region, so further away from its eastern limits, might indicates that the view of the endemic status of E. guegelii for Romania is having by now could change in the future. This new find might help to fill in the gaps in geographical distribution of Epipactis species at European level by extending further the eastern limits of this species. Discussions and morphological diagnosis characters are documented by pictures of plants taken in these new sites we discovered. From all these new locations another orchid species are mentioned, associated plant species are documented, habitat notes, population size and conservational concerns are presented besides.
Epipactis guegelii, endemic species, chorology, Romania, new occurrence records.