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Abstract Detail

Systematics Section/ASPT

Prebble, Jessica [1], Meudt, Heidi [2], Tate, Jennifer [1], Symonds, Vaughan [1].

The population genetics of rarity in New Zealand plants: a case study delimiting species in recent radiations using Myosotis (Boraginaceae).

How population genetic variation is structured in rare plants as compared to their widespread relatives can have important implications for conservation management. It is particularly relevant to explore whether there are differences in population genetic structure or variation between naturally uncommon species and those that are thought to be rare due to human-influenced decline. New Zealand has an unusually high percentage of rare and endemic species, and in fact has a unique category in its threat classification system termed ‘Naturally Uncommon’, which was created to more accurately reflect the nature of insular rarity within the New Zealand archipelago.  
The genus Myosotis (Boraginaceae) is found in both the northern and southern hemispheres, with one of its centres of diversity located in Australasia where ~40 species are currently described.  Low levels of genetic diversity, suspected recent radiation and hybridisation have been found in the New Zealand representatives of this genus, which present challenges to reconstructing evolutionary relationships and delimiting species. A taxonomic revision of the genus within New Zealand is a top priority due to the number of undescribed putative species and the large number of threatened species in the group. Further, the genus is an excellent study system for exploring aspects of the nature of rarity. Using microsatellite data, we compare the population structure and variation of widespread non-threatened species with that of threatened, range-restricted species to determine the relationship between distribution, population and species genetic diversity and conservation status within New Zealand Myosotis. Additionally we use an integrated approach including morphometric and population genetic analyses to explore species boundaries in the cryptic Myosotis pygmaea group.

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1 - Massey University, Institute of Fundamental Sciences, Private Bag 11222, Palmerston North, 4442, New Zealand
2 - Museum Of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, PO Box 467, Cable St, Wellington, N/A, 6140, New Zealand

population genetics
species delimitation
New Zealand

Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Sections
Session: 17
Location: Payette/Boise Centre
Date: Tuesday, July 29th, 2014
Time: 8:45 AM
Number: 17004
Abstract ID:313
Candidate for Awards:George R. Cooley Award

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