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Abstract Detail


Kittelson, Pamela M. [1], Nielsen, Reina [2].

Interactions of leaf functional traits, herbivory and genetic diversity in Echinacea angustifolia: Implications for fragmented populations.

Habitat fragmentation produces small, spatially isolated populations often comprised of inbred individuals.  A loss of genetic diversity by inbreeding has the potential to affect the expression of functional traits and biotic interactions such as herbivory.  We measured a suite of eleven functional traits and herbivore damage on three types of crosses in the prairie forb, Echinacea angustifolia: inbred, outbred and from crosses between individuals within the same remnant population.  Genetic diversity significantly affected the expression of all 11 functional traits that influence resource capture.  Inbred individuals had consistently lower photosynthetic rates, water use efficiencies, specific leaf areas, C:N and had higher trichome numbers % C and % N than outbred individuals.  However, herbivore damage was not affected by genetic diversity or correlated to other leaf functional traits. Leaf architecture and low physiological rates among the inbred crosses compared to outbred or within remnant crosses imply poorer capture or use of resources. Inbred plants also have lower survival and fitness relative to outbred and within remnant crosses. Our data suggest that if habitat fragmentation leads to a high number of inbred plants in remnant populations then these individuals possess a group of functional traits that can reduce fitness.

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Related Links:
The Echinacea Project

1 - Gustavus Adolphus College, Department Of Biology, 800 W. College Ave., St. Peter, MN, 56082, USA
2 - Gustavus Adolphus College, Biology, 800 W. College Ave, St. Peter, MN, 56082, USA

none specified

Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Topics
Session: 15
Location: Firs South/Boise Centre
Date: Tuesday, July 29th, 2014
Time: 10:30 AM
Number: 15010
Abstract ID:227
Candidate for Awards:None

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