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Abstract Detail


Zenzen, Ashley [1], Windham, Michael [2], Grusz, Amanda [3].

Who’s your mama? Exploring the maternal evolutionary history of Woodsia scopulina subsp. laurentiana (Woodsiaceae).

Cliff ferns (Woodsia, Woodsiaceae) are a primarily circumboreal genus with approximately ten species occurring in North America. Within this group, hybridization and whole genome duplication (polyploidy) are common. Here, we focus on the Woodsia scopulina complex, which encompasses three North American subspecies: W. scopulina subsp. scopulina, W. scopulina subsp. appalachiana, and W. scopulina subsp. laurentiana. Woodsia scopulina sensu stricto is a widespread sexual diploid in western North America; subsp. appalachiana is also diploid and known only from the southeastern United States. The third member of the complex, subsp. laurentiana was described based on collections from northeastern North America and is assumed to be tetraploid based on spore size. Tetraploid populations of W. scopulina are known from western North America but their relationships to subsp. laurentiana are unclear. Woodsia scopulina subsp. laurentiana is a rare taxon of potential conservation concern. It is morphologically intermediate between the other two subspecies, leading to speculation that these Laurentian populations may represent a sexual allotetraploid lineage derived through hybridization between the eastern and western subspecies. Here, we present what is currently known regarding the evolutionary history of W. scopulina subsp. laurentiana. We examine morphological variability across the range of subsp. laurentiana and take the first steps toward untangling the evolutionary history of this subspecies using cytogenetic and plastid sequence data. Given the rarity of this taxon in the Great Lakes region, we also use niche modeling to identify suitable habitats that might support additional populations. Ultimately, our aim is to elucidate the origin of this putative tetraploid and clarify its relationship to the western North American tetraploid. These findings will serve to inform future taxonomic and/or conservation decisions related to W. scopulina subsp. laurentiana on the Laurentian Shield.

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1 - University Of Minnesota Duluth, Department Of Biology, 1035 Kirby Drive Swenson, Duluth, MN, 55812, United States
2 - Duke University, Department Of Biology, Box 90338, Durham, NC, 27708, United States
3 - University Of Minnesota Duluth, Biology, 1035 Kirby Drive, SSB 207, Duluth, MN, 55812, United States

Niche Modeling

Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Session: 32, Pteridology III
Location: 105/Mayo Civic Center
Date: Tuesday, July 24th, 2018
Time: 2:45 PM
Number: 32004
Abstract ID:876
Candidate for Awards:Edgar T. Wherry award

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