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Abstract Detail

Conservation Biology

Brunson, D. Burke [1], Morris, Ashley B. [1].

Assessment of genetic diversity and frequency of clonal reproduction in Illicium parviflorum, a central Florida endemic.

The Florida endemic evergreen shrub Illicium parviflorum, despite not being federally protected, is listed as endangered by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. According to the Florida Natural Areas Inventory, there are 20 known occurrences of the species, mostly within currently protected areas. Little is known about the reproductive ecology of I. parviflorum, but clonal growth via root sprouting is suspected to be frequent, which should result in genetically homogenous populations. The distribution of this species is relatively fragmented, and because I. parviflorum pollination occurs by small fly species, that the probability of pollination over long distances is low. Additionally, seeds are ballistically dispersed, but only across short distances (less than 3 m). These characteristics are likely to inhibit gene flow among naturally occurring I. parviflorum populations. To further complicate the situation, I. parviflorum is popular in the horticultural trade. Nurseries commonly increase their stocks of this species by propagating cuttings, thereby generating highly clonal horticultural populations. The integration of these plants into the natural system may have serious implications for long-term stability of wild populations. Natural populations of I. parviflorum appears to presently inhabit the only remaining suitable areas of Florida for this species, and stability of those natural populations will likely be dependent, in part, on informed management decisions that take genetic variation into account. Our objective is to determine genetic structure within and among natural populations and horticultural stocks of I. parviflorum using ISSR markers and to evaluate the impact that the horticultural industry may have on naturally occurring populations.

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1 - University of South Alabama, Biology, 307 N. University, LSCB 124, Mobile, AL, 36688-0002, United States

conservation genetics
clonal reproduction
Illicium parviflorum.

Presentation Type: Poster:Posters for Topics
Session: P
Location: Ball Room & Party Room/SUB
Date: Monday, July 28th, 2008
Time: 12:30 PM
Number: PRT001
Abstract ID:612

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