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Abstract Detail

Ecological Section

Stoddard, Matthew [1], Meloche, Christopher [2].

Morphological variation, developmental stability, and genetic diversity in an Alpine Avens.

Alpine Avens (Geum rossii) is the most widespread and abundant plant in the alpine tundra of Colorado. Due to the short growing season of this high altitude environment, shoots of G. rossii undergo extreme developmental preformation. On the tundra, G. rossii is distributed across a steep gradient of soil moisture and growing season length. Across this gradient the mature size of leaves varies by as much as 90% but is inversely correlated with growing season length. In spite of large changes in mature morphology across the gradient, the duration of preformation and the proportion of development completed during preformation do not vary significantly. Plants must develop to achieve a much greater size in less time in wet, short growing season environments. Because G.rossii is extensively clonal, spreading rhizomatously belowground, the relative contribution of asexual and sexual reproduction remains unclear. To determine if the contrasting development is purely phenotypic plasticity or if it has a genetic component, DNA was extracted and three microsatellite loci specific to Geum were amplified using PCR. Preliminary genetic analysis suggests that genetic variation does exist across strong the strong environmental gradients in the Colorado Alpine.

Broader Impacts:

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1 - Metropolitan State College of Denver, Department of Biology, P.O. Box 173362, Campus Box 53, Denver, CO, 80217-3362, USA
2 - Metropolitan State College Of Denver, P.O. Box 173362, Campus Box 53, DENVER, CO, 80217-3362, USA

Alpine tundra
developmental preformation

Presentation Type: Poster:Posters for Sections
Session: P
Location: Khorassan Ballroom/Chase Park Plaza
Date: Monday, July 11th, 2011
Time: 5:30 PM
Number: PEC016
Abstract ID:442

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