Smith, David Solance , Lonsdorf, Eric , Shuster, Stephen , Whitham, Thomas , Martinsen, Greg .
The Population Genetic Structure of Populus and its Potential Ecological Ramifications.
PLANT species diversity can be one of the most significant forces shaping animal diversity. On a finer scale, recent research has shown that genetic diversity within a single plant species can be a strong predictor of arthropod community structure. Although this phenomenon has been demonstrated for both small herbaceous plants and large woody species, we expect to see more pronounce patterns in systems with long-lived dominant plant species, which likely have a greater influence on their surrounding environment. For example, cottonwood tree (Populus spp.) exhibit a disproportionately large biomass and abundance in riparian ecosystems and their genetic diversity is known to explain as much as 65% of the variation in local arthropod diversity. However, the vast majority of these studies were conducted in a common garden setting, where genetic diversity and structure are artificial. Very little is known about the natural genetic diversity and structure of cottonwoods and how it influences the surrounding community. Here, we present the results of an analysis using over 90 RFLP markers on over 600 cottonwood trees on the Weber River, UT. Our Fst values were bounded away from zero, suggesting significant population structure and genetic diversity both within and among stands. These results are the necessary first step in examining how natural genetic variation of a primary producer shapes community structure.
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Cottonwood Ecology Group at NAU
1 - Northern Arizona University, Biological Sciences, P.O. Box 5640, Flagstaff, Arizona, 86001-5640, USA
2 - 1969 Loring Ave., San Diego, California, 92109-1406
population genetic structure
Presentation Type: Poster:Posters for Topics
Location: Auditorium/Bell Memorial Union
Date: Tuesday, August 1st, 2006
Time: 12:30 PM