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Abstract Detail

Conservation Biology

Croft, Genevieve [1], Yatskievych, George [2], Schaal, Barbara [3].

Claytonia ozarkensis (Montiaceae): genetic variation in a rare Spring Beauty endemic to the Ozarks and its relatives.

In a 2006 taxonomic monograph of the genus Claytonia, J.M. Miller and K.L. Chambers recognized a wide-leaved Claytonia located only in the Ozark Highlands of Arkansas, Missouri and Oklahoma. They remarked that C. ozarkensis, known from only nine localities, is deserving of protection under the Endangered Species Act. These plants had been previously determined as C. caroliniana, a species otherwise absent in these states. Miller and Chambers described the new species, C. ozarkensis, in this monograph and provided two key morphological characters distinguishing it from the more common, eastern, species: petal color and bract number. A third species, C. virginica, has a broad range that includes the distributions of both C. caroliniana and C. ozarkensis, but is narrow-leaved and otherwise morphologically dissimilar. Fieldwork revealed a notable ecological difference between C. ozarkensis and C. caroliniana. Whereas C. caroliniana is ground-dwelling, C. ozarkensis inhabits cliffs. Recent field expeditions have been unable to locate extant populations in Oklahoma or Missouri. For this study, C. ozarkensis was obtained from three localities in Arkansas. We analyzed variation at three neutrally evolving loci to assess levels of genetic diversity within these populations. We compared these sequences to those of C. caroliniana and C. virginica from the eastern and Midwestern United States to determine whether Arkansas has one or two species of wide-leaved Claytonia, and to compare population-level genetic diversity among these three groups. If the data support three separate taxa, Claytonia ozarkensis is a rare endemic species known only from three extant metapopulations in Arkansas, and a species of conservation concern.

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1 - Washington University, Biology, 1 Brookings Drive, Campus Box 1137, St. Louis, MO, 63130, USA
2 - Missouri Botanical Garden, PO Box 299, St. Louis, MO, 63166-0299, USA
3 - Washington University, Department Of Biology, CAMPUS BOX 1137, 1 Brookings Drive, St. Louis, MO, 63130-4899, USA

Claytonia ozarkensis
population genetics

Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Topics
Session: 08
Location: Forsyth Room/Chase Park Plaza
Date: Monday, July 11th, 2011
Time: 11:30 AM
Number: 08006
Abstract ID:603

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