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Abstract Detail

Molecular Ecology

Laport, Robert [1], Ng, Julienne [2].

Out of one, many: The biodiversity considerations and ecological consequences of polyploidy.

Understanding how one species becomes two is crucial to understanding patterns of biodiversity. Polyploidy—whole genome duplication—is an exceedingly common genomic mutation shaping vascular plant biodiversity, but the degree to which it is associated with ecological trait differences varies. This has resulted in polyploids residing in an ecological and taxonomic no-man’s land where genome duplication is simultaneously considered a major mechanism of novelty and speciation, yet insufficient for species recognition. Renewed efforts to characterize ploidy-specific changes support considering polyploids as discrete units of biodiversity in ecological and evolutionary studies, yet the cascading ecological effects of such changes remain unclear. We are employing integrative approaches to assess the ecological consequences of genome duplication on reproductive interactions and community structure in multiple systems. (1) In the North American creosote bush (Larrea tridentata; Zygophyllaceae), an ecologically dominant desert shrub comprising recently formed (≤1mya) diploids, tetraploids, and hexaploids, we are characterizing specialist and generalist pollinator visitation and the resulting influence on inter-cytotype gene flow. (2) We are also investigating community-level patterns of phylogenetic relatedness between diploids and polyploids and how these relationships might influence species composition in multiple communities for the polyploid-rich Brassicaceae and Rosaceae. Overall, our results suggest that the ecological and community effects of genome duplication are multifaceted and not always clear-cut, but are important for population- and community-level dynamics. We find that unique visitation and pollen collection on sympatric diploid and tetraploid L. tridentata by individual members of the bee assemblage results in appreciable assortative mating. In Brassicaceae and Rosaceae communities, we find that polyploid species tend to co-occur with distantly related diploids, but the ecological success of polyploids varies between lineages. Our results suggest more widely recognizing polyploids as functional units of biological diversity in ecological and evolutionary studies would acknowledge the contemporary importance of genome duplication to ecological and population dynamics, as well as patterns of biodiversity.

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Related Links:
Laport Research Website
Ng Research Website

1 - University Of Colorado-Boulder, Department Of Ecology And Evolutionary Biology, Campus Box 334, Boulder, CO, 80309, United States
2 - University Of Colorado Boulder, Department Of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, Campus Box 334, Boulder, CO, 80309, United States

assortative mating
community phylogenetics
evolutionary ecology
population biology
species interactions.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Session: 22, Molecular Ecology
Location: 107/Mayo Civic Center
Date: Tuesday, July 24th, 2018
Time: 8:15 AM
Number: 22001
Abstract ID:96
Candidate for Awards:None

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