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Abstract Detail

Conservation Biology

Stuart, Johnasha [1], Stanford, Alice [2].

Low Genetic Diversity in Protected Populations of Endangered Caribbean Endemic Erythrina eggersii (Fabaceae).

Erythrina eggersii Krukoff & Moldenke (Cockís-spur) is a native plant of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands; it is currently listed as threatened by IUCN. Habitat destruction (for quarrying and development) has contributed to the plantís rarity. In order to develop a conservation plan, this study investigates the population genetics and genetic diversity of this plant species. We collected leaf samples from all populations present on the island of Saint John, USVI. DNA samples were amplified using ISSR PCR and separated on 1.5 % agarose gels. We calculated the several molecular diversity indices including proportion of polymorphic genes (P), heterozygosity (H), and genetic distance between populations (Fst). Saint John populations of E. eggersii showed low genetic diversity as well as low genetic distance both within and between populations. This suggests that Saint John populations have experienced a bottleneck effect. The introduction of individuals from Saint Thomas and Puerto Rico may increase the diversity of these populations.

Broader Impacts:
Seasonal tropical forests are being destroyed at an alarming rate. Little research is being done in these ecosystems. The island of St. John, USVI, contains some of the most pristine tropical dry (seasonal) forest in the world. Loss of forest area and biodiversity contributes to marine ecosystem degradation as well as global warming.

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Related Links:
National Tropical Botanical Garden
ITIS Report
Phylogeny and Nomenclature
IUCN Red List

1 - University of the Virgin Islands, College of Science and Mathematics, 2 John Brewers Bay, St Thomas, VI, 00802, USA
2 - University of Virgin Islands, College of Science and Mathematics, 2 John Brewers Bay, St. Thomas, VI, 00802, USA

Erythrina eggersii
Virgin Islands
population genetics.

Presentation Type: Poster:Posters for Topics
Session: P
Location: Hall A/Convention Center
Date: Monday, August 2nd, 2010
Time: 5:30 PM
Number: PCB006
Abstract ID:391

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