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Abstract Detail

Genetics Section

Zhang, Huarong [1], DeWald, Laura [2], Smith, Steven [3].

Genetic variation in two native grasses in the ponderosa pine forests of northern Arizona: implications for restoration.

DESPITE the increased use of native grasses in restoration projects, little is known about the genetic structure of these species. Information about population genetic differentiation, and the relationships between genetic variation, climate and local adaptation is important in guiding the collection and use of native grass species. We examined genetic variation in populations of Elymus elymoides and Koeleria macrantha in Pinus ponderosa forests of northern Arizona. We chose the two perennial bunchgrass species because they are important for restoration. Allozyme data show these two species exhibit different genetic structure, which is likely due to their different mating systems. Elymus elymoides is predominantly autogamous and exhibits relatively high allozyme variation among populations and low variation within populations. Koeleria macrantha, a predominantly allogamous species, shows relatively low allozyme variation among and high variation within populations. This difference may reflect relatively low gene flow between populations of Elymus elymoides compared to Koeleria macrantha. The two species also show different relationships between allozyme variation and geographic distance and climate. Elymus elymoides shows higher correlation between allozyme variation and climatic variables than Koeleria macrantha. However, the correlation between allozyme variation and geographic distance is lower in Elymus elymoides than Koeleria macrantha.We also examined phenotypic variation in the two grass species in common garden experiments. Based on our findings, we will make recommendations for selection of source materials of these grasses for restoration of ponderosa pine communities.

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1 - Northern Arizona University, forestry, box 15018, Flagstaff, Arizona, 86011, USA
2 - Western Carolina University, Natural Resources Management, Cullowhee, North Carolina, 28723, USA
3 - University of Arizona, School of Natural Resources, 325 Bio Sci East, 1311 E. 4Th Street, University O, Tucson, Arizona, 85721, USA

native plants
genetic variation
phenotypic variation
geographic distance.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Sections
Session: 34-11
Location: 350/Holt
Date: Tuesday, August 1st, 2006
Time: 11:00 AM
Abstract ID:275

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