Abstract Detail

Lightning Talks – Germinating Ideas

Fox, Skyler [1], Morris, Ashley [2].

What is a population? Assessing genetic structure of federally endangered Dalea foliosa in Middle Tennessee.

Dalea foliosa (leafy prairie clover; Fabacaeae) is a federally endangered, herbaceous perennial and is one of the many rare species associated with the cedar glades region of the southeastern US. D. foliosa is found in the limestone glades of northwest Alabama and Middle Tennessee and the dolomite prairies of northern Illinois. In partnership with the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC), the goal of this project was to help define what a population of D. foliosa actually is to facilitate the development of management strategies. Therefore, for this project, we focused solely on occurrences from the Cedars of Lebanon complex and the Duck River complex in Middle Tennessee. Our team collected D. foliosa leaf material from nine sites in these two complexes, including seven from the Cedars of Lebanon complex and two from the Duck River complex. Our data also include a previously unknown occurrence from Lebanon, TN, that was discovered in the late summer of 2021. We used nine microsatellite loci that were previously developed for the species to genotype collected samples. Results from various statistical analyses illustrate low genetic variation among sites within the Cedars of Lebanon Complex, meaning that these sites could be considered a single management unit. We also found that the Cedars of Lebanon Complex and the Duck River Complex are genetically distinct, so they should be considered as separate management units. Overall, however, there is low genetic diversity among and between these sites, which is consistent with previous genetic studies performed on D. foliosa. Next steps for analyzing the population genetic structure of D. foliosa should include analyzing these data in the broader context of the full species range, which will be essential in being able to determine conservation strategies that might include augmenting existing sites, or even establishing new ones through introduction efforts.

1 - 6290 Leipers Creek Rd, Santa Fe, TN, 38482, United States
2 - Furman University, Department Of Biology, 3300 Poinsett Highway, Greenville, SC, 29613, United States

population genetics
plant conservation
Dalea foliosa
molecular ecology.

Presentation Type: Germinating Ideas Lightning Talk
Number: LT1024
Abstract ID:822
Candidate for Awards:None

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