The Balkan Peninsula is one of the most important centres of plant diversity in Europe. Yet its flora is still largely unexplored and calls for further investigations. Olšavská et al. focus on Balkan taxa of the Cyanus napulifer group (Asteraceae), comprising a number of local endemics.
Using variation genetic markers, relative DNA content and multivariate morphometric analysis. The study demonstrates that the rapid and relatively recent diversification of the group was triggered by spatio-temporal isolation on the topographically complex Balkan Peninsula. Adaptive radiation, accompanied in some cases by long-term isolation and hybridization, also contributed to the formation of this species complex and its mosaic pattern.
Katarína Olšavská, Marek Slovák, Karol Marhold, Eliška Štubňová, Jaromír Kučera, 2016, 'On the origins of Balkan endemics: the complex evolutionary history of the Cyanus napulifer group (Asteraceae) ', Annals of Botany, vol. 118, no. 6, pp. 1071-1088 http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/aob/mcw142