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Abstract Detail

Pteridological Section/AFS

Williams, Evelyn [1], Bochte, Crys [1].

Examining Botrychium species using genetics and morphology.

Ferns in the genus Botrychium subgenus Botrychium (Ophioglossaceae) are small and cryptic; identifying them in the field is difficult because of their reduced physical characters and the subtle differences between species. In particular, B. matricariifolium has a wide range of morphologies, some of which are similar to threatened or endangered species such as B. accuminatum and B. hesparium. Our work aims to determine how morphological features are correlated with genetic differences and to identify species-specific characters to improve species definitions. Using AFLPs we examined 60 individuals from 7 species from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan with Nonmetric Multidimensional Scaling ordination. This showed that individuals of species B. matricariifolium consistently group with individuals of morphologically similar species. This "matricariifolium group” is intermediate between a fan-leaved clade that includes B. pallidum and the species B. lanceolatum, which are its two hypothesized parent species. To compare this genetic dataset to morphology, we measured 33 characters on 850 ferns from 12 putative species to quantify morphological distance. Using PCA ordination we found that genetically intermediate B. matricariifolium clusters between its putative parent species in morphological space. We then compared Nei-Li (genetic) and Gower (morphology) distances for 44 individuals. We found a correlation between genetics and morphology among species (Mantel permutation test, r = 0.28, p = 0.032). To investigate the matricariifolium group we removed fan-leaved species and B. lanceolatum. This reduced the correlation between morphology and genetics within this group (28 individuals, r = 0.06, p > 0.27) and removed its significance. Future work will expand the genetic information included and examine inter-annual variation in morphology. Our data indicate that species definitions in this group need to clearly delineate morphologically and genetically distinct groups to improve conservation and management practices.

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1 - University of Wisconsin - Madison, Botany, 430 Lincoln Drive, Madison, WI, 53706, USA

cryptic species

Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Sections
Session: 2
Location: 556B/Convention Center
Date: Monday, August 2nd, 2010
Time: 10:15 AM
Number: 2009
Abstract ID:112

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