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Abstract Detail

Recent Topics Posters

Howell, Jacquelyn S. [1], Morris, Ashley B. [1].

Assessing the frequency of clonal reproduction in Fagus grandifolia in Great Smoky Mountains National Park using microsatellites.

In many plant species, asexual reproduction through clonal growth is thought to be correlated with extreme environmental conditions (e.g. nutrient-poor habitats, aquatic regions, arctic regions and shady habitats). Fagus grandifolia (American beech; Fagaceae), a common tree species in eastern North America, is known to reproduce both sexually by seed and asexually by root sprouting. This species can be found growing in high elevation monocultures, known as beech gaps, in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. These beech gaps are suspected to be highly clonal, based on the observed densities and stunted growth of these stands. Our goal was to use microsatellite markers to evaluate the degree of clonality in these stands compared to those found in more optimal environments. Six sites in the Great Smoky Mountains, stratified by elevation (high, middle and low) and aspect (north and south), were sampled. Nine loci were used to assess genetic variation within and among these six sites. Preliminary assessment of the data suggests that populations at higher elevations, and populations with samples within close proximity of each other, are more clonal than are low elevation populations, which is consistent with historical observations of these unique habitats.

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1 - University of South Alabama, Department of Biology, Life Sciences Building 124, Mobile, AL, 36688, USA

Fagus grandifolia
clonal reproduction
Great Smoky Mountains.

Presentation Type: Recent Topics Poster
Session: P
Location: Ball Room & Party Room/SUB
Date: Monday, July 28th, 2008
Time: 12:30 PM
Number: PRT008
Abstract ID:1115

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