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Abstract Detail

Genetics Section

Ramp Neale, Jennifer M. [1], Ranker, Tom A. [1], Guralnick, Robert [1].

Examination of plant community-level genetic diversity across a chronosequence in the Hawaiian Islands.

CONSERVATION genetic studies are generating large amounts of genetic data on threatened and endangered species. Unfortunately, these genetic data are rarely incorporated into on-the-ground conservation planning and management. Recently, conservation strategies have shifted from species-centered approaches to using communities as initial “coarse-filter” conservation targets. Focusing more on levels and patterns of genetic diversity within these conservation target communities rather than just single species will allow for more complete ecosystem diversity to be analyzed for landscape-scale conservation decisions. By focusing on common species within the Hawaiian Islands, we examined community diversity among populations of the same community type across islands. Collection sites represent a montane rainforest chronosequence across the Hawaiian Islands ranging in age from 300 years to 4.1 my. Using the genetic technique of ISSRs, we examined genetic diversity in 3 species from 5 sites. The species examined are the tree Cheirodendron trigynum (Araliaceae), the shrub Vaccinium calycinum (Ericaeae), and the tree fern Cibotium glaucum (Dicksoniaceae). Preliminary results demonstrate low to moderate genetic differentiation among populations of single species across the sites. Within single species, genetic diversity among sites is relatively similar and there is no isolation by distance. Genetic diversity was also not correlated with age of substrate for any species. Average genetic distance among sites for all species combined was calculated. Pairwise comparisons of this measure were not significantly different indicating that no site contains a unique genetic assemblage as compared to the others. This study is the first to assimilate population-level genetic variation of multiple plant species simultaneously, resulting in a rapid assessment of community-level diversity. Genetic data will ultimately be incorporated into GIS for combined analyses with ecological data. The combination of multi-species genetic data with ecological data in GIS will allow for conservation assessments to be made with comprehensive data sets.

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1 - University of Colorado, University Museum & Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, 265 UCB, Boulder, Colorado, 80309, USA

Hawaiian Islands
Multi-species Assessment

Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Sections
Session: 34-12
Location: 350/Holt
Date: Tuesday, August 1st, 2006
Time: 11:15 AM
Abstract ID:525

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