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Abstract Detail

Reasons for Rarity? Exploring Acclimatory and Adaptive Constraints to Commonness

Brzyski, Jessica [1], Boyd, Jennifer [2], Cruse-Sanders, Jennifer [3], Baskauf, Carol [4], Anderson, Jill [5], Yurek, Jeffrey [1].

Are rare species constrained by their acclimatory and evolutionary ability? A congeneric comparison using Echinacea.

With the rapid pace of contemporary environmental change due to anthropogenic activities it is imperative for species conservation to identify both the short-term and long-term ability of a rare species to respond to such changes. The role of trait plasticity is important to consider because it can buffer the effects of change in the short term and ecophysiological trait plasticity, in particular, has been demonstrated to have a relatively fast response time to environmental change. If plasticity could buffer negative impacts in the short-term, it could allow time for long-term genetic adaptations to evolve. Using congeneric species of Echinacea, one common (E. purpurea) and one rare (E. tenneseensis) as determined by distribution and abundance, we compared phenotypic plasticity by manipulating light environment, and measuring response variables associated with growth, allocation, and physiological traits. Then, because genotypic variation underlies phenotypic variation, we inferred evolutionary potential by quantifying genetic variation using an identical suite of polymorphic microsatellite markers. Counter to our prediction of rare plant species exhibiting less plasticity than common congeneric species, we found the differences in plasticity for several traits was higher overall in the rare E. tenneseensis. Genetically, our results were consistent with the prediction that rare species exhibit lower genetic variation when compared to a common congener, with higher allelic and genotypic richness quantified in E. purpurea than E. tenneseensis. Our findings indicate that short-term acclimatization is possible in the rare E. tennesseensis but low genetic variation could potentially constrain long-term adaptation ability, suggesting that the consequences of environmental and demographic stochasticity will be exacerbated in this rare species.

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1 - Seton Hill University, 1 Seton Hill Dr, Box 448F, 1 Seton Hill Dr, Box 448F, Greensburg, PA, 15601, United States
2 - University Of Tennessee At Chattanooga, Dept 2653, 615 McCallie Avenue, Chattanooga, TN, 37403, United States
3 - University Of Georgia, State Botanical Garden Of Georgia, 2450 South Milledge Ave., Athens, GA, 30605, United States
4 - Austin Peay State University, Department of Biology, 681 Summer St., Clarksville, TN, 37040, USA
5 - University of Georgia, Genetics, Athens, GA, 30602, USA

rare species
genetic diversity
phenotypic plasticity

Presentation Type: Colloquium Presentations
Session: C06, Reasons for Rarity? Exploring Acclimatory and Adaptive Constraints to Commonness
Location: /
Date: Wednesday, July 21st, 2021
Time: 4:45 PM(EDT)
Number: C06006
Abstract ID:1130
Candidate for Awards:None

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