TITLE

Population genetic structure of the Gulf of St. Lawrence aster, Symphyotrichum laurentianum (Asteraceae), a threatened coastal endemic

AUTHOR(S)
Heard, Stephen B.; Jesson, Linley K.; Tulk, Kirby
PUB. DATE
November 2009
SOURCE
Botany;Nov2009, Vol. 87 Issue 11, p1089
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
The Gulf of St. Lawrence aster (Symphyotrichum laurentianum (Fernald) G.L. Nesom) is an endemic annual of saline habitats in the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence. It is listed as a threatened species, and has recently experienced population declines in much of its range. We used 11 allozyme markers to assay population genetic variation in six wild populations of S. laurentianum from the Magdalen Islands, Quebec (QC), the only remaining wild population from Prince Edward Island National Park (PEI), and a greenhouse population founded in 1999 with seed collected from PEI. Symphyotrichum laurentianum harbours moderate genetic diversity (Ps = 0.36, As = 1.54), with only modest spatial genetic structure (pairwise FST < 0.15) and no significant isolation by distance. The PEI population had greatly reduced allelic diversity compared with the populations from the Magdalen Islands, which likely act as a reservoir of genetic variation in S. laurentianum. Recent loss of alleles during population decline in PEI is suggested by the retention of greater allelic diversity in the greenhouse population. Estimates of breeding structure suggest small but nonzero rates of outcross pollination (FIS = 0.73, 95% CI = 0.48–0.97; outcrossing rate ~16%). Population genetic structure in S. laurentianum can inform those forming and carrying out conservation and recovery plans for this threatened species.
ACCESSION #
45136686

 

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