Abstract Detail



Population Genetics/Genomics

Merritt, Benjamin [1], Culley, Theresa [1], Matter, Stephen [1].

Genetic variation along sub-alpine meadows in the lanceleaf stonecrop, Sedum lanceolatum Torr. (Crassulaceae).

Habitat fragmentation has a net-negative effect on genetic diversity and can lead to increased extinction risk. The combination of reduced habitat availability and limited connectivity among suitable patches often leads to genetic bottlenecks, increased inbreeding, and genetic drift. The effects of fragmentation have been documented across herbaceous and woody species, with differing mating strategies, varying levels of rarity, and across differing time periods since fragmentation. Here we assess connectivity among presumably isolated sub-alpine meadows that have rebounded from an early 20th Century forest fire and gradually become isolated due to encroaching forest. In this study, we determined genetic variation present at a local scale with six species-specific microsatellite markers in the lanceleaf stonecrop, Sedum lanceolatum Torr. (Crassulaceae) that are generally restricted above the tree line in alpine and subalpine meadows across the Rocky Mountains in North America. Previous work identified considerable genetic variation across the species’ range at a large scale, spanning hundreds of kilometers, suggesting extremely limited gene flow at broader geographic scales. Here, we characterized genetic variation among 17 meadows that span the 7-km spine of Jumpinpound Ridge in Alberta, Canada. Results thus far suggest that genetic differentiation is limited among these meadows and that instead of isolation-by-distance, gene flow may be maintained by pollinators, life history traits, and slow generation time. Subsequent work will identify which landscape features have the strongest effect on genetic differentiation among these meadows.


1 - University of Cincinnati, Department of Biological Sciences, 614 Rieveschl Hall, Cincinnati, OH, 45221-0006, USA

Keywords:
Crassulaceae
fragmentation
genetic variation
microsatellite.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Number: 0004
Abstract ID:917
Candidate for Awards:Margaret Menzel Award


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