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Abstract Detail

On models and methods pertaining to plant reproduction

Hoban , Sean Michael [1].

Models of seed and pollen dispersal and implications for ex situ seed conservation collections.

A pivotal stage of plant reproduction is dispersal, a process that affects individual plant survival as well as population-level processes such as the development of aggregation, competition among recruits, and colonization rates. Moreover, the degree and mode of seed dispersal will determine the clustering of related individuals, and the degree of pollen dispersal will affect the relatedness of seeds on a maternal tree. As such, the consequences of seed and pollen dispersal are a common topic in ecology and evolutionary biology. However, dispersal ecology may also have consequences for conservation efforts such as germplasm collections (for seed banks or botanic gardens). Specifically, by affecting spatial genetic structure among adults and degree of relatedness among seeds, dispersal may significantly influence the amount of genetic diversity in a given seed collection. Considering that the goal of collection efforts is to ensure sufficient genetic diversity in a collection, while minimizing overall collection size and preventing inbreeding, dispersal may therefore be a key consideration when collectors are deciding which populations and individual plants to collect from, and how many seeds to gather. I will discuss a framework for using individual and population-based stochastic simulations to integrate dispersal and other reproductive considerations into the planning stage of a conservation seed collection. I will then show results obtained from using realistic demographic, genetic, and spatial simulation models regarding where and how much seed to sample. Specifically, I will quantify the relative advantage of different spatial sampling strategies as a function of different dispersal characteristics, at both local and regional scales. I show that, broadly, spatial considerations are especially crucial in species with poor dispersal. I will also discuss which aspects of dispersal, reproductive biology, demography and population ecology may be important to consider when using simulation modeling to plan conservation seed collections. This methodology can be used to generate broad guidelines for seed sampling, as well as to customize sampling strategies to particular species of interest.

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Related Links:
Sean Hoban Research Homepage

1 - National Institute For Mathematical And Biological Synthesis, University Of Tennessee, 1122 Volunteer Blvd, University Of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN, 37919, USA

seed dispersal
conservation biology
pollen dispersal
ex situ conservation
individual-based models

Presentation Type: Symposium or Colloquium Presentation
Session: SY09
Location: Summit/Boise Centre
Date: Wednesday, July 30th, 2014
Time: 8:15 AM
Number: SY09002
Abstract ID:90
Candidate for Awards:None

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