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Abstract Detail

Molecular Ecology and Evolution

Warschefsky, Emily [1], Jestrow, Brett [2], Von Wettberg , Eric J Bishop [1].

Patterns of genetic variation in the Chamaecrista species of South Florida .

The legume family is the third largest plant family and includes species important to agriculture as well as ecological function. However, most previous research has focused only on members of the subfamily Papilionoideae, with less emphasis on the other clades. Chamaecrista fasciculata, a member of the subfamily Caesalpinioideae has recently emerged as a new model species for evolutionary and ecological studies. The genus Chamaecrista, while tropical in origin, also includes species found in temperate climates. South Florida's unique subtropical climate and geographical location provide habitat for both temperate and tropical species at the southern and northern limits of their respective ranges, including five native species and varieties as well as the naturalization of one exotic species. Due to their geographic isolation, it is hypothesized that these populations demonstrate genetic differences from conspecific Caribbean or temperate North American populations. To investigate patterns of population genetic variance found in Chamaecrista in South Florida, samples from multiple populations of C. fasciculata, C. nictitans var. aspera, and C. lineata were collected. The sequences of seven single copy nuclear genes were compared within and between populations to determine inbreeding coefficients, Hardy Weinberg allele frequencies, fixation indices, Bayesian clustering, and analysis of molecular variance. The results of these analyses revealed a variety of patterns of population genetic variation in Chamaecrista species in South Florida. Most importantly, our results shed light on the limited conservation options available for the rare South Florida Chamaecrista lineata, a federal candidate species for endangered species listing that is restricted to low-lying land in the Florida Keys. With little habitat at elevations above expected sea level rise, conservation will have to occur beyond the current range.

Broader Impacts:

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1 - Florida International University, Department of Biological Science, 11200 SW 8th Street, Miami, FL, 33199, USA
2 - Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, Center for Tropical Plant Conservation, 11935 Old Cutler Road, Miami, FL, 33156, USA

none specified

Presentation Type: Poster:Posters for Topics
Session: P
Location: Khorassan Ballroom/Chase Park Plaza
Date: Monday, July 11th, 2011
Time: 5:30 PM
Number: PME004
Abstract ID:488

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