Abstract Detail

Molecular Ecology

Slimp, Madeline [1], Kapp, Joshua [2], Shapiro, Beth [2], Wayne, Robert [3], Meyer, Rachel [4].

Ancient DNA recovered from sediment shows plant composition shifts with historical human demography.

Southern California has been a hotspot for human habitation, from when humans first arrived in the Americas around 14,000 years ago, up until now. Despite this legacy of human presence, studies that would elucidate the historical composition of the organisms that cohabited this region with humans are scant. Recently shown to be more effective than pollen records, eDNA can be used as a tool to reconstruct thousands of years of plant and mammal presence records. We sequenced the mammal and plant DNA present in a lake sediment core from Lake Elsinore, spanning 35,000 years of natural history. We seek to identify common ethnobotanical families, like Rutaceae, Fagaceae, and Apiaceae, to characterize the landscape around the time of human arrival to understand some of the challenges that early inhabitants faced when fighting to survive in a new land. Using target capture sequencing, we anticipate being able to identify some sequences to species, with these species potentially being extinct animals, like the American Camel. Additionally, we can look for marine DNA sequences that could suggest trade between desert and marine settlements. This project will not only propose a novel method of successfully sequencing DNA from warm-climate sediment cores, but will define the role of humans in California’s history of environmental change.

1 - University of California Santa Cruz, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, 130 McAlister Way, Santa Cruz, CA, 95060, USA
2 - University of California Santa Cruz, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, 1156 High Street, Santa Cruz, CA, 95064, USA
3 - University of California Los Angeles, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, 2312 Life Sciences Building, Box 951606, Los Angeles, CA, 90095-1606, USA
4 - UCSC, EEB, 130 McAllister Way, Coastal Biology Building Rm 242, Santa Cruz, CA, 95060, United States

ancient DNA

Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Number: ME1004
Abstract ID:830
Candidate for Awards:None

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