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Abstract Detail

Population Genetics

Holsinger, Kent E. [1], Skogen, Krissa A. [1].

Does size matter? Genetic diversity in declining and secure populations of Desmodium cuspidatum (Fabaceae).

NEW England populations of the perennial legume, Desmodium cuspidatum (large-bracted tick-trefoil, Fabaceae), have declined dramatically in the last 30-40 years, from 28 populations in 1976 to eight in 2005. Though this species occurs throughout the eastern half of the United States, only New England populations are known to have declined, but the exact timing and causes of decline in this species remain unknown. In the event of a recent decline, levels of genetic diversity within New England populations will be comparable to those in other parts of the range, but if New England populations have been small for an extended period, they will be genetically depauperate. Amplified fragment length polymorphisms (ALFPs) were used to assess the genetic structure of the eight remaining New England populations and six additional populations from New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Georgia and Missouri. Samples from 30 individuals per population or all individuals for populations of less than 30 were included. Analysis of these data allows me to assess whether levels of genetic diversity are consistent with those expected with a recent decline, to examine the relationship between genetic diversity and population size and to determine if threatened New England populations are genetically depauperate compared to secure populations elsewhere. In addition, samples collected from three populations in 2004 and 2005 are used to assess whether dormancy leads to the aboveground appearance of different genotypes in different years.

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1 - University of Connecticut, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, 75 North Eagleville Road, U-3043, Storrs, Connecticut, 062693043, USA

threatened species
population genetics
population size
conservation genetics
amplified fragment length polymorphisms
Desmodium cuspidatum.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Topics
Session: 10-7
Location: 120/SSKU
Date: Monday, July 31st, 2006
Time: 10:30 AM
Abstract ID:683

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