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Abstract Detail

Conservation Biology

Miranda, Carly [1].

Conservation of Threatened CA Endemic Suisun Thistle; A Population Genetics Approach.

The purpose of this study is to characterize and conserve the genetic diversity of endangered Suisun thistle populations. There are two California varieties of C. hydrophilum: var. hydrophilum native to the brackish salt marsh of Suisun in Solano county and C. var. vaseyi from serpentinite derived heavy metal soils of Mount Tamalpais in Marin. Cirsium hydrophilum var. hydrophilum, is federally listed as endangered and C. var. vaseyi also occurs only in a few small populations with few individuals (L.C. Lee and Associates Inc, 2003). Their preferred habitats are low in available nutrients and occur in highly saline/heavy metal soils, which typically prove toxic to most plants and are thought to play a large role in their limited distribution. However, due to significant habitat degradation and potential hybridization with an invasive, both taxa are threatened with extinction. Relatively little is known about these taxa’s genetic composition and so in order to assess their population genetic diversity and the role of inbreeding on survival, we will use NGS sequencing to construct a phylogeny of C. hydrophilum with its close relatives. Moreover, using ddRAD data in conjunction with corresponding GPS points, we will be able to detect if C. hydrophilum is further threatened by hybridization with the invasive European bull thistle C. vulgare and asses the spatial distribution of genetic diversity.
For the first time, phylogenetic construction will allow us to accurately classify the subspecies and varieties within C. hydrophilum. The largest gap in knowledge we aim to fill is determining the Cirsium lineages with the greatest chance of survival and reproduction when restored at five specific sites within the marsh. By selecting the most genetically diverse individuals to reduce inbreeding within populations, we will restore ecosystem functions and directly combat local habitat degradation. Accurate model development is essential in maximizing conservation of Cirsium biodiversity as past studies have shown higher success rates for restoration projects when the genetics are well characterized and considered during planting (Fielder et al, 2007). Determining the genetic relatedness of reproductive populations will also allow us to evaluate the potential danger of invasive thistle hybridization, including genetic or demographic swamping by hybrids. To evaluate the data computationally I will preliminarily filter the sequence through an ipyrad pipeline. Next the programs Adegenet will use collected data to evaluate hybridizations. R spatial and TreeMix are applied to analyze the major evolutionary hybridization or speciation events to create the phylogeny.

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1 - San Francisco State Universtiy, Biology, 1600 Holloway Ave, San Francisco , CA, 94132, USA

none specified

Presentation Type: Poster
Session: P, Conservation Biology Posters
Location: Arizona Ballroom/Starr Pass
Date: Monday, July 29th, 2019
Time: 5:30 PM This poster will be presented at 5:30 pm. The Poster Session runs from 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm. Posters with odd poster numbers are presented at 5:30 pm, and posters with even poster numbers are presented at 6:15 pm.
Number: PCB017
Abstract ID:1052
Candidate for Awards:None

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