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Abstract Detail


Rodriguez-Pena, Rosa A. [1], Bastardo, Ruth [2], Manzueta, Katherin [3], Fernández, Josue [3], Kron, Kathleen A [4].

Reproductive biology and Population Genetics of Vaccinium (Ericaceae) in the Dominican Republic: preliminary results.

The Caribbean Islands Hotspot is one of the most diverse places in the world; however, many species face a high risk of extinction due to human activity. Vaccinium ekmanii, the only endemic species of the genus Vaccinium, is critically endangered and restricted to small populations in the Cordillera Central as a result of urban expansion. In contrast, Vaccinium racemosum is a native species with widespread distribution. Because these species have a distinctive distribution and similar biology, we believe that comparative studies of their population genetics and reproductive biology can help us design conservation strategies that allow us to protect the species in the wild. To access the genetic structure of both species, we used 10 microsatellite markers previously designed for Vaccinium. We aimed to determine whether V. ekmanii and V. racemosum are self-compatible by isolating immature inflorescences and quantifying the percentage of the flowers that developed into fruits for each species. True pollinators of Vaccinium were identified using the standard procedure that included observations at different times of the day and the collection and identification of animals that visited the flowers. Germination assays included 90% of the population from both species. Seven populations (three V. ekmanii and four V. racemosum) were sampled; including 174 DNA samples, isolation of 46 inflorescences (830 flowers), and collection of 200 seeds. We have identified different visitors for each species. Vaccinium ekmanii is visited by honey bees (Apis mellifera) during the day and ants (Camponotus sp. and Pseudomirmex sp.) during the night. Vaccinium racemosum is visited by hummingbirds (Chlorostilbon swainsonii) and bananaquits (Coereba flaveola). Both species of Vaccinium are self-compatibles but the selfing rate is very low. Seed germination percentage is higher in V. ekmanii; however, the results are not statistically significant due to the small sample size. Once the data analysis is complete, we expect to find low genetic diversity in V. ekmanii in comparison with V. racemosum due to the negative effects of inbreeding, genetic drift, changes in pollinators’ behavior and anthropogenic activities.

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1 - Ohio State University, Department Of Ecology, Evolution, And Organismal Biology, 318 W. 12th Avenue, COLUMBUS, OH, 43210-1293, USA
2 - Universidad Autónoma de Santo Domingo, Instituto de Investigaciones Botánicas y Zoológicas, Alma mater, Santo Domingo, 10205, Dominican Republic
3 - Universidad Autónoma de Santo Domingo, Biology, Alma mater, Santo Domingo, 10205, Dominican Republic
4 - Wake Forest University, Department Of Biology, 1834 Wake Forest Road, WINSTON-SALEM, NC, 27106, USA

pollination ecology
population genetics
Dominican Republic

Presentation Type: Poster
Session: P, Ecology Section 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 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: PEC029
Abstract ID:685
Candidate for Awards:Ecological Section Best Graduate Student Poster

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