Abstract Detail

At the Intersection of Applied and Academic Botany: Fertile Ground for an Interdisciplinary Botanical Renaissance

McDonnell, Angela [1], Moore, Cheyenne [1], Schuette, Scott [3], Martine, Christopher [4].

A harbinger of good things to come in academic and non-academic partnerships: population genomics and conservation of Erigenia bulbosa (Apiaceae) in Pennsylvania.

Erigenia bulbosa, perhaps better known as the harbinger of spring, is one of the earliest-blooming wildflowers in eastern North America. As a spring ephemeral of rich, well-drained forests and woodlands, it is a fairly common species throughout the Midwest with the bulk of its distribution is in Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio. In Pennsylvania, E. bulbosa exhibits an east-west disjunct distribution where widespread western populations are contiguous with the Midwestern range and a handful of populations in the eastern part of the state are restricted to the lower Susquehanna River valley. The isolation of the eastern populations suggests a possible conservation concern for those plants, with an assumed higher risk of fluctuations in numbers of individuals and the potential for lower levels of genetic diversity. As a consequence, regulatory considerations have created confusion during the environmental review process and left the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources in the difficult position of justifying regulations that vary by region. To better understand population dynamics of the species, botanists from Bucknell University and the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy are engaged in a collaborative effort to couple field-based assessments E. bulbosa with a population genomics approach. Using single nucleotide polymorphisms from throughout the genome obtained via genotyping by sequencing (GBS) methodology, we find support for isolation of the disjunct populations and expect that populations in the East will continue to be threatened by land use and development along the Susquehanna River valley. This project is an important example of the strength of academic and non-academic partnerships in fostering outcomes that inform conservation of rare and special plants.

1 - Bucknell University, Biology, 1 Dent Drive, Lewisburg, PA, 17837, United States
2 - Bucknell University, Biology, 1 Dent Drive, Lewisburg, PA, 17837, United States
3 - Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, 800 Waterfront Drive, Pittsburgh, PA, 15222.0, United States
4 - Bucknell University, Bucknell University, 1 Dent Drive, Lewisburg, PA, 17837, United States

Population genetics/genomics

Presentation Type: Symposium Presentation
Number: 0003
Abstract ID:590
Candidate for Awards:None

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