Abstract Detail

Ecological factors that drive patterns of population genetic structure in plants

Skogen, Krissa [1], Fant, Jeremie [2], Cisternas, Anita [3], Lewis, Emily [4], Rhodes, Matt [5].

Pollinator foraging behavior and dispersal patterns predict population genetic structure in plants.

Long-distance dispersal is important for recruitment and maintaining population connectivity. The resulting dispersal patterns impact the magnitude and distribution of genetic diversity. For sessile plants, movement is achieved by pollen and seed dispersal, and the patterns of which are determined by dispersal agent(s). For angiosperms, biotic pollination not only determines movement, but facilitate the fertilization of ovules, and determines the paternity, quality, and even the future competitive ability of resulting seedlings. Differences in pollinator’s foraging behavior and movement can have significant impact on the genetic structure of a plant species.  For example, long-distance dispersal by pollinators can help maintain population connectivity over large distances (meters to kilometers), while species that forage in small area can increase chances of geitonogamous pollination. To date, genetic studies have compared abiotic and biotic pollination, while comparisons between biotic pollination systems have received less attention. Differences between pollinator guilds may be particularly important if some guilds are more vulnerable to anthropogenic threats, such as land-use change, than others. If pollinator movement, abundance and foraging behavior is altered by land-use change, this may influence the mating patterns of the flowers visited. Hawkmoth pollination is a specialized pollination system and unlike bats and birds, travel large distances, hawkmoths do not return to a nesting or roosting site daily. For these reasons, hawkmoths are expected to contribute to long-distance gene flow and may therefore help mitigate the negative impacts of land-use change on hawkmoth-pollinated taxa. Nocturnal pollination has received less attention than has diurnal pollination and remains understudied despite its importance for many plant species globally. We compared patterns of gene flow (primarily pollen movement), genetic diversity and population differentiation in six species in the evening primrose family, Onagraceae, to test whether generalizable patterns can be found in related and unrelated hawkmoth-pollinated species. Specifically, we test the following hypotheses: (1) hawkmoths disperse pollen over greater distances than do bees, (2) gene flow is high and population differentiation is low due to hawkmoth-facilitated long-distance dispersal of pollen, and therefore (3) there is no detectable effect of land-use change and habitat fragmentation on genetic diversity.

1 - Chicago Botanic Garden, Conservation Scientist, 1000 Lake Cook Road, Glencoe, IL, 60022, United States
2 - Chicago Botanic Gardens, Plant Biology And Conservation , 1000 Lake Cook Rd, Glencoe, IL, 60022, United States
3 - Northwestern University, Plant Biology and Conservation, 2205 Tech Drive, Evanston, IL, 60208.
4 - Washington State University, Department of Mathematics and Statistics, Pullman, WA, 99164, USA
5 - Unaffiliated, .., Lander, WY, 82520, USA

Hawkmoth pollination
population genetics
genetic diversity
Land conversion.

Presentation Type: Colloquium Presentations
Number: 0003
Abstract ID:984
Candidate for Awards:None

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