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Abstract Detail



Species delimitation in composite organisms: the value of recognizing species boundaries in lichen symbionts

Altermann, Susanne [1].

How species delimitation relates to what we can say about partnership specificity and geographic structure in Wolf Lichens.

Species delimitation helps us organize our thinking and helps us communicate more effectively about relevant evolutionary units. Many lichenized taxa, both fungal and algal, offer the complication of defining taxa and defining symbiotic relationships under conditions of asexual reproduction, incomplete lineage sorting, and various combinations of vertical inheritance and horizontal transfer of symbiotic partners. Despite these challenges, Wolf Lichens (fungal genus Letharia, algal genus Trebouxia) and other co-distributed lichens (fungal genera Hypogymnia and Cetraria) provide a window into partnership specificity and geographic structure of fungal-algal partnerships. Wolf lichen fungi and algae have asymmetrical population structures, with the fungi less geographically structured than the algae. By also pairing with fungi from other genera, Wolf Lichen algae show low partnership specificity when compared with Wolf Lichen fungi. Within the context of the current taxonomic paradigm, we will discuss the constraints and opportunities offered by the Wolf Lichen system for understanding partnership specificity and geographic structure of fungal-algal partnerships. 


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1 - Whitman College, Biology, 345 Boyer Ave, Walla Walla, WA, 99362

Keywords:
partnership specificity
geographic structure
species delimitation
Letharia.

Presentation Type: Symposium or Colloquium Presentation
Session: C3
Location: Cottonwoods North/Boise Centre
Date: Wednesday, July 30th, 2014
Time: 11:00 AM
Number: C3004
Abstract ID:611
Candidate for Awards:None


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