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Abstract Detail

Conservation Biology

Ashley, MV [1], Abraham, ST [1], Craft, KJ [2], Kindsvater, LC [3].

Evolutionary and Conservation Genetics of the Island Oak, Quercus tomentella Englemann.

The island oak, Quercus tomentella Englemann, is an island endemic, found only on five of the eight California Channel Islands and Guadalupe Island west of Baja California, Mexico. It is among the rarest of oaks and represents a distinct component of Channel Island biodiversity. It is a member of the small Section Protobalanus of oaks that has uncertain evolutionary origins and affinities. Q. tomentella is thought to be a relict species; a similar species, Q. declinata, is represented in late Tertiary fossil floras of the California mainland. The most widespread species of Section Protobalanus, Q. chrysolepis Liebmann, is found on the mainland but also on some of the islands and may hybridize with Q. tomentella. Here we present the first population genetic survey of Q. tomentella using DNA microsatellites analysis. Several loci developed for white oaks (Section Quercus) were adapted to amplify polymorphic loci in Q. tomentella. Trees were sampled from several sites on the Channel Islands to assess levels of genetic diversity in Q. tomentella, and to determine how is diversity partitioned among sites and among islands. Microsatellite genotyping was also used to quantify the extent of clonal versus sexual reproduction in Q. tomentella. Microsatellite data suggest that Q. tomentella maintains moderate levels of genetic diversity despite having small, declining populations and low effective population size. Populations on each island are genetically quite distinct, and significant population structure also occurs within islands. Microsatellite analysis is also used to assess levels of hybridization between Q. chrysolepis and Q. tomentella.

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1 - University of Illinois at Chicago, Biological Sciences, 845 W. Taylor St., Chicago, IL, 60607, USA
2 - University of Minnesota, Plant Biology, 250 Biological Sciences Center, 1145 Gortner Ave, St. Paul, MN, 55108, USA
3 - Save the Redwoods League, 1651 Divisadero St., San Francisco, CA, 94115, USA

island endemic
Quercus tomentella
conservation genetics
gene flow.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Topics
Session: CP02
Location: PDR 4/Hilton
Date: Monday, July 9th, 2007
Time: 11:15 AM
Number: CP02012
Abstract ID:2084

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