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Abstract Detail

Conservation Biology

Ward, Alex [1], Farenwald, Max [1], Wenzel, Aaron [2], Wolfe, Andrea D. [3].

Conservation genetics of Penstemon caryi (Plantaginaceae) in and outside the Tensleep (Wyoming) Preserve.

Penstemon caryi is a rare plant species endemic to northern Wyoming and adjacent Montana that exhibits a fragmented distribution, appearing on limestone outcrops and talus slopes. A concern with species such as P. caryi is that its fragmented distribution will lead to limited gene flow between populations and low levels of genetic diversity, which could potentially result in extirpation. The goal of this study was to analyze the population genetics of nine populations P. caryi in and around the Tensleep Preserve in order to determine what conservation steps should take place. We used seven microsatellite markers in order to estimate levels population genetic diversity, population differentiation, and gene flow between populations. The collected data were analyzed in the programs GenAlEx, GENEPOP, and STRUCTURE. We found pairwise FST values ranging from 0.013-0.11, suggesting some admixture of populations via gene flow. This finding runs parallel to a 2001 study ofP. caryi with AFLP (amplified fragment length polymorphism) markers that found a significant amount of gene flow between populations as well. However, according to STRUCTURE, two of the high-altitude populations (Top o’ the World and Margarite Mesa) were each represented as distinct genetic clusters isolated from the rest of the populations. Additionally, due to isolation, there exists significant inbreeding (Rhois = 0.2067-0.5514), which may decrease heterozygosity among populations (Ho=.664). Our results suggest that although most populations of P. caryi exhibit connectivity via gene flow, several populations have become increasingly genetically isolated. These findings, combined with our estimates of heterozygosity and inbreeding, indicate that at-risk populations (Top o’ the World, Margarite Mesa) 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, Columbus, OH, 43210, USA
2 - Ohio State University, EEOB, 318 W. 12th Ave, Columbus, Ohio, 43210, United States
3 - Ohio State University, Department Of Ecology, Evolution, And Organismal Biology, 318 W. 12th Avenue, COLUMBUS, OH, 43210-1293, USA

Conservation genetics
Rare Plants
habitat fragmentation.

Presentation Type: Poster
Session: P, Conservation Biology Posters
Location: Exhibit Hall/Savannah International Trade and Convention Center
Date: Monday, August 1st, 2016
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: PCB008
Abstract ID:614
Candidate for Awards:None

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