Abstract Detail

Conservation Biology

Massatti, Rob [1], Winkler, Daniel [2], Jones, Matthew [3].

Informing management goals using ancestry probability surfaces: a case study with Graham’s beardtongue (Penstemon grahamii) in Uinta Basin, Utah, USA.

A primary concern of conservation efforts is delineating groups of individuals that may, under successful management, lead to species recovery without the loss of intraspecific diversity. In the United States (U.S.), the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service implements the concepts of resiliency, redundancy, and representation when developing management guidelines to achieve recovery and protect diversity. Genetic data have proven useful for informing redundancy and representation, though few spatial methods are available to extrapolate site-based empirical patterns across a species’ range. Herein, we demonstrate how ancestry probability surfaces developed using a new methodology (POPMAPS) may overcome the challenges inherent in creating spatially explicit guidance. POPMAPS uses empirically derived population structure patterns to estimate populations over a species-specific landscape surface. First, we combined population structure analyses with pairwise, population-specific demographic modeling to investigate historical processes influencing Graham’s beardtongue (Penstemon grahamii), a rare plant narrowly distributed across the Uinta Basin in Utah, a dryland region of the western U.S. This combination of analyses helped us reconcile conflicting genetic patterns – namely that an abrupt shift in ancestry near the center of the species’ range illuminated by some analyses likely resulted from a history of recent admixture. With knowledge of genetic patterns in hand, we developed an ancestry probability surface that quantitatively depicts, with uncertainty, the distribution of the genetically defined populations. Furthermore, we investigated the environmental space represented within and between populations to understand if certain populations and/or sites are experiencing unique climates, which may be informative to management given future climate scenarios. Beyond providing a species-specific product to inform management options, our study highlights how understanding demographic history may be critical to guide conservation efforts when interpreting population genetic patterns.

Related Links:
Genetics for Western Restoration and Conservation

1 - U.S. Geological Survey, Southwest Biological Science Center, 2255 N. Gemini Drive, Flagstaff, AZ, 86001, United States
2 - U.S. Geological Survey, Southwest Biological Science Center, Tucson, AZ, 85719, USA
3 - U.S. Geological Survey, Southwest Biological Science Center, Flagstaff, AZ, 86001

population genetics
demographic modeling
landscape genetics.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Number: CB4001
Abstract ID:746
Candidate for Awards:None

Copyright © 2000-2022, Botanical Society of America. All rights reserved