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Abstract Detail

Conservation Biology

Sporck-Koehler, Margaret J. [1], Yorkston, Mitsuko [2], Morden, Clifford [3].

Genetic variation in Capparis sandwichiana (Capparaceae) populations from the Hawaiian Islands via SRAP markers and the use of molecular tools to help inform management decisions.

Island floras are some of the most threatened in the world. Coastal species are especially vulnerable due to human activity. Lowland and coastal areas in Hawaii are some of the most significantly altered by human development and are also the preferred habitat of Capparis sandwichiana, a species of caper endemic to the Hawaiian Islands. The United States Fish and Wildlife Service has evaluated C. sandwichiana, identifying it as a Species of Concern (SOC). Hawaii’s native caper is found on rocky substrate of coral or basaltic origin, in soil along the coast, or sometimes somewhat inland of the coast on all of the main Hawaiian Islands as well as some of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. As a result of anthropogenic pressure, many previously known populations have been extirpated and, especially on some islands, the species is becoming increasingly rare. Because Hawaii encompasses many diverse habitat types and many of the native plant species are thought to have adapted with local/regional morphological variation, natural resource managers typically take a conservative approach when considering mixing genetic stock from geographically disparate locations for restoration efforts. Decisions that involve mixing of genetic stock from different islands, or even different locations within islands, are often viewed with great scrutiny because it is thought that such mixing may result in the loss of some of the natural variability in a species. With many species becoming increasingly rare, it is likely going to become more important to consider introducing stock from more distant populations or islands to ensure that ecosystems are managed in the most holistic way possible and that species continue to occupy their native ranges. We collected leaf samples of C. sandwichiana from 110 individual plants from 15 populations from six of the main Hawaiian Islands (Hawaii, Kauai, Lanai, Maui, Molokai, and Oahu). We then performed genetic analysis using Sequence-related amplified polymorphism (SRAP) to determine the level of genetic variation that is found in the species across the main islands. Examination of polymorphism among genetic markers, estimate heterozygosity, cluster analysis, and principal coordinates analysis were performed. This study aimed to assess the level of genetic variability across populations of C. sandwichiana with a goal to help inform on the ground management decisions for this species.

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1 - State of Hawaii, Department of Land and Natural Resources, 1151 Punchbowl Street #325, Honolulu, Hawaii, 96813, United States
2 - University of Hawaii, 3190 Maile Way, Honolulu, Hawaii, 96822, United States
3 - University Of Hawaii, Department Of Botany, 3190 Maile Way, Honolulu, HI, 96822-2279, USA

conservation genetics
population genetics
rare plant

Presentation Type: Poster:Posters for Topics
Session: P
Location: Hall D/The Shaw Conference Centre
Date: Monday, July 27th, 2015
Time: 5:30 PM
Number: PCB004
Abstract ID:546
Candidate for Awards:None

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