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Abstract Detail

Conservation Biology

Namoff, Sandra [1], Alberto, Veloz [2], Francisco, Jimenez [2], Rodriguez, Rosa [2], Carl, Lewis [3], Jeremy, Moynihan [4], Melissa, Abdo [3], Michael, Maunder [5], Meerow, Alan W. [6], Eric, Von Wettberg [4], Francisco-Ortega, Javier [4].

Palms, sugar, molecules, and conservation: The case of Pseudophoenix ekmanii in Jaragua National Park, Dominican Republic.

Pseudophoenix ekmanii is a critically endangered palm species restricted to the Parque Nacional of Jaragua in the southernmost region of Hispaniola. It is recognized as a priority for conservation in the Caribbean Island Biodiversity Hotspot. Sap from individual trees is commonly extracted to make a local drink, once they are tapped the plant usually dies. Additionally, adult plants are harvested for the nursery trade, and are also pulled down by poachers hunting the endemic Hispaniolan Parrot. We used seven DNA microsatellite markers to assist land managers in developing future conservation strategies for this palm. We sampled four populations along the known distribution range of this species (three populations from the mainland and one from the offshore small island of Isla Beata). We found strong evidence for genetic drift, inbreeding, and limited gene-flow (i.e., all pairwise FST values were significantly higher than zero, all populations had at least four loci that were no in Hardy Weinberg Equilibrium, at least nine loci-pairs were in Linkage Disequilibrium, and had large positive FIS values). Data support an Isolation-By-Distance model, and ordination analyses revealed that patterns of population genetic variation follow a south-north gradient. The population from Isla Beata had the lowest levels of genetic diversity and was the only one in which we detected identical genotypes between individuals. We propose that each population should be considered as a separate management unit for conservation.

Broader Impacts:

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1 - Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, Center for Tropical Plant Conservation, 11935 Old Cutler Road, Coral Gables, Miami, Florida, 33156-4242, USA
2 - Jardin Botanico Nacional, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
3 - Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, Center for Tropical Plant Conservation, Miami, FL, 33156, USA
4 - Florida International University & Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, Biological Sciences & Center for Tropical Plant Conservation, Miami, FL, 33199, USA
5 - Al Ain Wildlife Park and Resort, Centre for Arid Land Conservation, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
6 - U. S. Dept. of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, National Germplasm Repository, 13601 Old Cutler Rd., Miami, FL, 33158, United States

Caribbean Islands
conservation genetics
Management Units

Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Topics
Session: 52
Location: 551A/Convention Center
Date: Wednesday, August 4th, 2010
Time: 10:15 AM
Number: 52001
Abstract ID:205

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