Abstract Detail

Conservation Biology

Murrell, Olivia [1], Diaz-Martin, Zoe [2], Havens, Kayri [3], Kramer, Andrea [4], Fant, Jeremie B [5].

Influence of metapopulation dynamics on genetic structure: Case study of the endangered and exceptional species Amorphophallus titanum.

Botanic gardens play an increasingly important role in the conservation of endangered species and combatting the worldwide biodiversity decline. Ex situ collections, while a vital part of conserving many species, often are managed within continents which may limit genetic diversity. These botanic gardens, grouped into ‘meta-populations,’ may have their own strong population genetic structure with little gene flow between them. We evaluated patterns of genetic diversity and population structure of Amorphophallus titanum in three major meta-populations: North America, Europe, and Asia/Oceania. Amorphophallus titanum is a charismatic and exceptional species that is endangered in the wild but is held in over 130 botanic gardens worldwide. Given its widespread presence in botanic gardens, A. titanum provides an effective case study for evaluating the genetic diversity of ex situ meta-populations. We found similar levels of genetic diversity across the three meta-populations and high levels of genetic structuring. This suggests that the lack of genetic exchanges between botanic gardens across continents could lead to genetic differentiation of each meta-population, reducing the total amount of genetic diversity in the species ex situ. Our work provides valuable insight into the ex situ conservation of rare and exceptional plant species, and our methodology could be applied to other species for which there are similar conservation challenges.

1 - 900 Chicago Ave, Unit 709, Evanston, IL, 60202, United States
2 - Chicago Botanic Garden, 1000 Lake Cook Rd, Glencoe, Illinois, 60022, United States
3 - Chicago Botanic Garden, CONS SCI DEPT, 1000 Lake Cook Road, Glencoe, IL, 60022, United States
4 - Chicago Botanic Garden, 1000 Lake Cook Road, Glencoe, IL, 60022, United States
5 - Chicago Botanic Gardens, Plant Biology And Conservation , 1000 Lake Cook Rd, Glencoe, IL, 60022, United States

ex situ living collections
Genetic diversity
population genetics
metapopulation dynamics
Amorphophallus titanum
next generation sequencing.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Number: CB2007
Abstract ID:970
Candidate for Awards:Margaret Menzel Award

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