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Abstract Detail

Economic Botany Section

Ross , Nanci J [1], Rupiper, Andrew [1], Adams, Margeaux [1].

Rediscovering the “fruit of the gods”: investigating the biogeography of Diospyros virginiana.

Diospyros (gr.) translates as “fruit of the gods” and the use and popularity of several species worldwide attest to this name.  Yet, in the U.S., persimmon is nearly a forgotten fruit. The American persimmon (D. virginiana) has a broad distribution throughout the SE United States.  American persimmon historically was used and managed by Native Americans and is regularly found in archaeobotancial remains. Despite this long history of use and cultivation, as European settlers expanded throughout its range, management of persimmon was essentially abandoned, the selective pressure on the fruits released. One might imagine that the centuries since the extensive use and selection of American persimmon may have obscured any signal of human influence; however, unusual and tantalizing discontinuities in the genetics and reproduction of American persimmon may be the result of just such an echo. GIS was utilized to investigate potential correlations between sex, environmental variables, archaeobotanical remains, and genetics.

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1 - Drake University, Biology Department, Olin Hall Room 208, 1344 27th Street, Des Moines, IA, 50311, USA

artificial selection
historical ecology

Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Sections
Session: 5
Location: River Fork/Grove
Date: Monday, July 28th, 2014
Time: 10:30 AM
Number: 5008
Abstract ID:624
Candidate for Awards:None

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