Systematics Section / ASPT
Groff, Paul A. , Hale, Amanda M. , Eliason, Scott A. , Whitlock, Barbara A. .
Disjunction and phylogeny in Western North American mountain-meadow gentians.
Wet meadows in the mountains of California and Nevada are "habitat islands" created by the intersection of particular parameters of elevation/temperature and hydrology. Several partially co-distributed species of Gentianaceae occur in such meadows; recent progress in reconstructing gentian phylogenies provides a context within which the genetic relationships among populations of each of these species can be interpreted historically. We introduce a collaborative research program comparing the phylogenetic biogeography of co-distributed gentian species to inform our understanding of the history (assembly, migration, fragmentation, expansion, and contraction) of montane-alpine wet meadow communities. Our first example will be a newly recognized cryptic species within the morphospecies Gentianopsis holopetala whose biogeography is "piscine," suggesting migration along drainages. In two of the mountain ranges occupied by this cryptic species, there also occur highly disjunct populations of Gentiana section Chondrophyllae: G. fremontii in the San Bernardino Mountains and G. prostrata s. s. in the White Mountains (CA/NV). Some influential floras and biogeographic studies have not recognized G. fremontii as distinct from G. prostrata, raising questions about the relationship of these two California populations. However, cpDNA sequence data confirm that each of these populations has more closely-related populations outside the state. Thus we have begun to resolve previous biogeographic problems, to uncover new ones, and to lay the groundwork for a genetic contribution to the history of mountain meadows. Parallel studies of additional species of Gentianopsis, Gentiana, Gentianella, Comastoma, Lomatogonium, and Swertia, some of whose ranges overlap the San Bernardino and White Mountains, will also extend the network of comparison to the meadows of other mountains.
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1 - U. S. Forest Service, San Bernardino National Forest, P. O. Box 290, Fawnskin, California, 92333, USA
2 - University of Miami, Department of Biology, Coral Gables, FL, 33124, USA
Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Sections
Location: Stevens 2/Hilton
Date: Tuesday, July 10th, 2007
Time: 3:30 PM