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Abstract Detail

Population Genetics

Cibrian-Jaramillo, Angelica [1], DeSalle, Rob [2], Hahn, William James [3].

Contemporary gene flow and spatial genetic structure in the endangered understory palm Chamaedorea ernesti-augustii.

This study describes the extent of contemporary genetic connectivity in populations of the understory palm Chamaedorea ernesti-augustii in Los Tuxtlas, Mexico. Chamaedorea ernesti-augustii belongs to the largest Neotropical palm genus, and constitutes a significant ecological and structural element of the understory in tropical evergreen forests in Central America. In recent years C. ernesti-augustii has gained economic importance as an ornamental in the global market. As a result of an unregulated industry based on harvesting from natural populations, and intense habitat loss, there is a general decline of this species across its distribution range. Microsatellite loci, three Bayesian analysis methods, and a spatial autocorrelation analysis, were used to identify population boundaries and the extent of ongoing differentiation at various geographic scales in the recently fragmented tropical forest of Los Tuxtlas. In spite of high levels of observed inbreeding, high gene flow was detected among forest fragments, with various populations contributing to the overall genetic connectivity in different proportions. Furthermore, unique genotypes were identified within each forest fragment, which may be a result of historical volcanic activity in the region. These patterns of genetic differentiation provide a first guideline to prioritize populations for conservation and also enlighten ecological and demographic processes in C. ernesti-augustii. This is the first study in understory palms to use microsatellites, and the first in palms to apply Bayesian approaches to infer current patterns of gene flow.

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1 - Columbia University, Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology, 1200 Amsterdam Avenue,, New York, New York, 10027-MC5557, United States
2 - American Museum of Natural History, Institute for Comparative Genomics, Central Park West at 79th Street, New York, New York, 10024, United States
3 - Georgetown University, Georgetown College, 108 White-Gravenor, Po Box 571003, Washington, DC, 20057-1003, USA

gene flow

Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Topics
Session: CP21
Location: Williford A/Hilton
Date: Tuesday, July 10th, 2007
Time: 8:00 AM
Number: CP21001
Abstract ID:889

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