Abstract Detail



Questioning Species and Species Complexes: A Colloquium in Honor of Dr. R. James Hickey

Ballenger, Julie [1], Elmore, Michele [2].

Rarity, Carnivory and Promiscuity: Characterizing Wetland Plant Communities in the Fall Line Sandhills of West Central Georgia.

The Fall Line Sandhills physiographic province of west central Georgia is known for its unique plant communities and rare, often disjunct, plant populations due to the region’s distinct geologic history. Embedded within xeric longleaf pine uplands are unusual wetland plant communities, with composition and dynamics driven by fire and water. Little is known about these wetland habitats. This project seeks to better characterize, classify, and rank these wetland communities, provide new elemental occurrence information, and outline conservation and management needs. Here we present preliminary results from 10 sites. All sites were sampled using the Carolina Vegetation Survey, including soil and landscape characteristics. A total of 230 plant species have been identified, of which nine are carnivorous and 15 species are considered rare (S1/S2) in Georgia. Nearly all 15 rare species are new elemental occurrences for Georgia some of which were documented at multiple sites. Using ordination analysis, three sites appear to represent a distinct and undocumented plant community type for Georgia similar to the globally critically imperiled (G1) East Gulf Coastal Plain muck bog associations described by NatureServe. At least three sites exhibit apparent and extensive introgressive hybridization between the rare Sarracenia rubra and S. psittacina. Leaf tissue samples were collected for isolation of DNA and sequencing of the rbcL gene region to determine the magnitude of hybridization for Sarracenia species.  In addition samples were collected from upland and wetland plants to establish a DNA barcode library of the Sandhills flora. Preliminary results and discussion of these rare, carnivorous, and promiscuous plant communities will be presented.


1 - Columbus State University, Biology, 4225 University Avenue, Columbus, GA, 31907, United States
2 - U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Georgia Ecological Services, PO Box 52560, Fort Benning, GA, 31995, United States

Keywords:
Embedded Wetlands
Fall Line Sandhills
Georgia
Sarracenia
hybridization
DNA Barcoding.

Presentation Type: Colloquium Presentations
Number: 0005
Abstract ID:375
Candidate for Awards:None


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