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Abstract Detail

Conservation Biology

Ward, Alex [1], Stone, Benjamin [1], WOLFE, ANDREA D [2].

Penstemon caryi: Conservation genetics in a rare endemic species.

Penstemon caryi (Plantaginaceae) is a rare species endemic to the Pryor and Bighorn Mountains of north-central Wyoming and adjacent Montana. P. caryi is listed as a vulnerable species both in Wyoming and Montana, and inhabits sparsely vegetated talus slopes and limestone outcrops at montane elevations. The fragmented distribution of P. caryi may inhibit gene flow between populations and lead to low levels of genetic diversity, which could potentially further endanger the species. This study analyzes ten populations of P. caryi near the Tensleep Preserve in Wyoming and the Pryor Mountains in Montana using a combined in a conservation-genetic setting. We used a combined molecular dataset of seven microsatellite markers and 111 AFLP loci to estimate levels population genetic diversity, population differentiation, and gene flow between populations. We found pairwise FST values ranging from 0.013-0.11, suggesting some admixture of populations via gene flow; previous genetic studies of P. caryi corroborate our findings of significant gene flow between some populations. Despite these findings, two of the high-altitude populations (Top o’ the World and Margarite Mesa) and the Pryor Mountains population appear to represent distinct groups using genetic clustering analyses. We found evidence for significant inbreeding within these populations (Rhois = 0.2067-0.5514), which may decrease heterozygosity (Ho=.664). Our results suggest that although most populations of P. caryi exhibit connectivity via gene flow, several populations have become increasingly genetically isolated; in these populations, genetic drift is likely an important mechanism explaining the observed decrease in genetic diversity. These findings, combined with our estimates of heterozygosity and inbreeding, indicate that at-risk populations should be given conservation priority, while the other populations in and around the Tensleep preserve should continue to be monitored and protected.

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1 - Ohio State University, EEOB, 318 W 12th Ave, Columbus, OH, 43210, USA
2 - Ohio State University, Department Of Ecology, Evolution, And Organismal Biology, 318 W. 12th Avenue, COLUMBUS, OH, 43210-1293, USA


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 5:30 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: PCB005
Abstract ID:500
Candidate for Awards:None

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