Abstract Detail

Population Genetics/Genomics

Gaynor, Michelle [1], Walters, Linda [1], Hoffman, Eric A. [1].

Assessing genetic diversity within populations of smooth cordgrass to ensure effective restoration efforts.

The Indian River Lagoon (IRL) is one of the most biodiverse estuary systems in North America making it a conservation priority. Smooth cordgrass (Spartina alterniflora) is a keystone species that naturally occurs along the shorelines of the Mosquito Lagoon (ML). Spartina alterniflora is often used in shoreline restoration due to its extensive rooting capacity and ability to halt shoreline loss. Clonal species, such as S. alterniflora, are easy to raise with regard to the number of clones reared, but using clonal species for restoration may lead to genetically depauperate populations. To understand the genetic diversity of restored populations, we quantified the genetic diversity present within natural and restored S. alterniflora populations within the ML. We found that allelic richness and gene diversity did not significantly differ between restored and natural populations. Furthermore, genetic differentiation between natural and restored populations was not significantly different. In addition, higher numbers of clones were detected in restored populations compared to natural populations. Overall, we conclude that current restoration efforts in the ML are effective, but there is a need to continue to ensure that genetically diverse stocks are utilized for shoreline restoration given the high frequency of clones found in greenhouse populations.

1 - University of Central Florida , Department of Biology , 4110 Libra Drive, Orlando, FL, 32816, USA

none specified

Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Abstract ID:75
Candidate for Awards:None

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