Kashimshetty, Yamini , Simkins, Melanie , Pelikan, Stephan , Rogstad, Steven H. .
Founder placement and gene dispersal affect population growth and genetic diversity in restoration plantings of American Chestnut.
The conservation of endangered plant species often involves restoring these species to their natural habitat with limited resources and founding individuals. The American chestnut is no exception. American chestnuts are now endangered due to the introduction of chestnut blight late in the nineteenth century. Strains of blight-resistant American chestnuts are being developed, after which they will have to be reintroduced to Eastern forest locations. Restoration projects need to focus on maximizing population growth as well as retaining genetic diversity levels in a cost-effective manner. Our research addresses these re-introduction issues using the computer program NEWGARDEN to model the restoration of blight-resistant American chestnut populations. We used NEWGARDEN to explore the population growth and genetic diversity effects of placing founders in the same square spatial pattern of establishment at increasing distances from the preserve border under differing patterns of offspring and pollen dispersal distances. The null hypothesis that differing founder placement and gene dispersal distances will have no effect on population growth and genetic diversity retention was rejected. Certain combinations of founder placement and gene dispersal were clearly preferable in optimizing population growth and diversity while minimizing restoration costs compared to other combinations. Such exploratory results can be used by restoration project managers to suggest improved strategies for founder number and placement, and potential manipulations of gene dispersal. These results further suggest that the evolutionary trajectories of newly founded populations can be strongly affected by not only the number of founders, but also by founder placement and alterable gene dispersal attributes.
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Founder placement and gene dispersal affect population growth and genetic diversity in restoration plantings of American Chestnut
1 - University of Cincinnati, Biological Sciences , Clifton, Cincinnati, OH, 45220, USA
2 - University of Cincinnati, Environmental Studies, Clifton, Cincinnati, OH, 45220, USA
3 - University of Cincinnati, Mathematical Sciences , Clifton, Cincinnati, OH, 45220, USA
Presentation Type: Poster:Posters for Topics
Location: Battelle South/Convention Center
Date: Monday, July 9th, 2012
Time: 5:30 PM