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Abstract Detail

Conservation Biology

Watkins, Shelby L. [1], Pollack, Cathy [2], Morris, Ashley B. [3].

Assessing microsatellite genetic diversity in reintroduced and augmented populations of Dalea foliosa in Illinois.

Conservation and ecological restoration are exceedingly important as the human population continues to grow and disturb ecosystems. One method used to counteract extinction is to reintroduce plants to areas where they were extirpated, with the goal being for plants to establish new self-sustaining populations. It is clear that both reproductive ecology and population genetic structure, among other factors, are key players in determining reintroduction success. Dalea foliosa (leafy prairie-clover; Fabaceae), is a federally endangered perennial herb known primarily from Middle Tennessee, with more limited disjunct populations in Illinois and Alabama. The number of populations of this species are thought to have declined by 45% due mainly to habitat loss. Previous work based on allozymes suggested that D. foliosa generally exhibits low levels of genetic variation, with Tennessee populations being more diverse than either Illinois or Alabama populations. As a result, Illinois and Alabama populations were proposed to have experienced historical bottlenecks, possibly as a result of glaciation in the north. The Illinois populations have been the focus of an intensive restoration effort, with both reintroduction and augmentation of natural populations taking place. In the present study, we used recently developed novel nuclear microsatellite loci to evaluate genetic variation within and among these restored populations. Eleven loci are being used to genotype 114 individuals from 5 populations. These results will be compared to those of a broader study of natural populations from across the species range, which included 396 individuals from 19 populations across three states. Comparing the genetic diversity of the natural populations to the augmented and reintroduced populations may help understand the history of these plants and also help determine the best way to focus conservation efforts to maximize survival and possible removal from the endangered species list.

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1 - Middle Tennessee State University, Department of Biology, 1301 E Main St., Murfreesboro, TN, 37132, USA
2 - U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Chicago Illinois Field Office, 230 South Dearborn St., Suite 2938, Chicago, IL, 60604, USA
3 - Middle Tennessee State University, Department of Biology, 1301 E Main St, Murfreesboro, TN, 37132, USA

population genetics
Dalea foliosa
Conservation genetics.

Presentation Type: Poster
Session: P, Conservation Biology
Location: Exhibit Hall/Omni Hotel
Date: Monday, June 26th, 2017
Time: 5:30 PM This poster will be presented at 6:15 pm. The Poster Session runs from 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm. Posters with odd poster numbers are presented at 5:30 pm, and posters with even poster numbers are presented at 6:15 pm.
Number: PCB004
Abstract ID:291
Candidate for Awards:None


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