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Abstract Detail

Population Genetics

Gaddis , Keith D [1], Sork, Victoria L [2].

Does distribution restrict movement in a desert ecosystem? Landscape genetics in the desert shrub, Acacia (Senegalia) greggii A. Gray.

In desert plant species, gene flow is largely shaped by two opposing interpretations of landscape influence on movement. Classically, desert plant species are expected to have less connectivity than their mesic counterparts because resource availability leads to disjoint populations where harsh intervening climate can make dispersal difficult. Despite this spatial arrangement connectivity in desert plants is possible. Although gene flow can be restricted by demographic characteristics common in desert plants (i.e. small populations, low density, or disjointed distribution), these factors can also increase movement by forcing dispersers to travel a greater distances for resource or increasing the number of pollinator visits to a single plant. Here we address these opposing predictions within the desert shrub Acacia (Senegalia) greggii A Gray, in the Mojave National Preserve. We examined average dispersal and landscape restrictions to movement in both adults and pollen using microsatellite molecular markers within a 12km2 study area. We compare adult and pollen dispersal distance using spatial autocorrelation, and compare dominant landscape effects using AIC model selection. Despite a harsh intervening matrix, gene flow is widespread in this species, with pollen less genetically restricted than adults. Landscape variables did significantly explain genetic variance, but had less of an impact on pollen flow. This study helps resolve dispersal expectations for desert plant species, and provides a context for other work assessing the impact of environmental disturbance.

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Researcher website

1 - UCLA, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, 612 Charles E. Young Drive East, Los Angeles, CA, 90095-7246, USA
2 - UCLA, ECOL & EVOL BIOL, Box 957239, LOS ANGELES, CA, 90095-7239, USA

population genetics
Senegalia greggii
pollen dispersal
parentage analysis.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Topics
Session: 6
Location: Pines South/Boise Centre
Date: Monday, July 28th, 2014
Time: 11:30 AM
Number: 6012
Abstract ID:878
Candidate for Awards:Margaret Menzel Award

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