THORNTON, HANNAH E. B.1,2*, CYNTHIA LANE2, and JAVIER FRANCISCO-ORTEGA1,2. 1Department of Biological Sciences, Florida International University, Miami, FL 33199; 2Fairchild Tropical Garden, 11935 Old Cutler Rd., Miami, FL 33156. - Genetic variation in fragmented populations of an endangered dune plant: Implications for its conservation.
The preservation of genetic diversity in populations of endangered
plants has become an important part of many conservation programs. A
knowledge of genetic diversity can help researchers assess the ability
of rare plant populations to adapt to changes in their natural
environment, to respond to reintroduction programs, and to respond to
natural selection. Jacquemontia reclinata (Convolvulaceae) is a
federally listed endangered species, endemic to the coastal dune
system of southeastern Florida. Fewer than 700 individuals of J.
reclinata remain today, persisting in seven populations, on
scattered and fragmented parcels of habitat. As part of a larger
program aimed at the preservation of this species, we used allozymes
to assess the genetic diversity both within and among the seven J.
reclinata populations. Results of this work will be presented and
applications to the conservation of J. reclinata will be
discussed. Implications for a study of the quantitative genetic
variation within J. reclinata will also be discussed.
Key words: allozymes, coastal dunes, conservation, Convolvulaceae, Jacquemontia reclinata