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