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Abstract Detail

Molecular Ecology

Flanders, Nicholas [1], Musselman, Lytton [2], Randle, Christopher [3], Barshis, Daniel [4], Walters, Eric [4].

Identification of microsatellite loci for investigating bird-mediated genetic isolation by habitat in oak mistletoe (Phoradendron leucarpum) (Raf.) Reveal & M. C. Johnst.

The oak mistletoe (Phoradendron leucarpum) is a stem parasite found across the southern United States that is dependent on avian frugivores for seed dispersal. Because most mistletoes are restricted to a narrow range of suitable recruitment sites and avian frugivores are more visible than other guilds of seed dispersers, mistletoe-frugivore systems offer good opportunities for the study of seed dispersal and the effect of frugivores on plant distributions. In eastern Virginia and North Carolina, oak mistletoe is most common in forested wetlands of the Coastal Plain and in urban areas under a variety of development intensities. Mechanisms driving observed oak mistletoe habitat relationships are unclear. Information on the genetic structure of oak mistletoe populations coupled with data on avian frugivore habitat selection and results from oak mistletoe planting experiments could help elucidate the importance of bird behavior in determining oak mistletoe distributions. Previous studies on the genetics of this species across its range have found unexplained variation that did not correlate with geographic distance. We hypothesize that the selection of certain habitat types by different species or different populations of frugivorous birds is a mechanism that could limit gene flow among mistletoe populations. We plan to use microsatellites to examine fine-scale genetic differentiation across populations occupying different habitat types and separated by varying geographic distances in eastern Virginia and North Carolina. Here we present results from the screening of 21 previously developed microsatellite loci to identify markers that amplify and exhibit variation across oak mistletoe samples from different habitats and regions of our study area.

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1 - 3825 Pine Road, Portsmouth, VA, 23703, United States
2 - Old Dominion University, Biological Sciences, 5115 Hampton Blvd, 110 Mills Godwin Building, Norfolk, VA, 23529, United States
3 - Department Of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, 1900 Avenue I, Hunstville, TX, 77340, United States
4 - Old Dominion University, Biological Sciences, 110 Mills Godwin Building, 5115 Hampton Blvd., Norfolk, VA, 23529, USA

isolation by habitat
seed dispersal

Presentation Type: Poster
Session: P, Molecular Ecology
Location: Grand Ballroom - Exhibit Hall/Mayo Civic Center
Date: Monday, July 23rd, 2018
Time: 5:30 PM This poster will be presented at 5:30 pm. The Poster Session runs from 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm. Posters with odd poster numbers are presented at 5:30 pm, and posters with even poster numbers are presented at 6:15 pm.
Number: PME003
Abstract ID:845
Candidate for Awards:None

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