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Abstract Detail

Conservation Biology

Drenkow, Shelly [1], Kellar, P. Roxanne [2], Ahrendsen, Dakota [1], Jones, Amanda [1].

Phylogenetic Diversity comparison of Asteraceae between geographical sites.

Conservation of evolutionary diversity among organisms is a priority for the future success of the Earth’s ecosystems. Phylogenetic Diversity (PD) measures the evolutionary distance between taxa in a community and is gaining acceptance as a biodiversity assessment metric. New scientific methods and tests are being developed that look promising for measuring PD, but a guide through the assortment of metrics is needed. This study incorporated massively parallel (also known as next generation) sequencing, which generated DNA sequences that were used to estimate robust phylogenies and calculate various PD metrics. The research focused on a comparison of species richness and eight PD metrics in the plant family Asteraceae (sunflower). PD and species richness were compared between two endangered tallgrass regions of the Great Plains. PD is often difficult to measure due to time and cost, and previous studies suggested species richness as a surrogate. However, studies have found these two measurements do not always give the same result and may lead to different conservation strategies. The questions investigated are: 1) Do various PD metrics lead to different estimates of biodiversity? 2) Does PD vary between geographical sites? and 3) Are PD and species richness correlated? Entire plastid genomes as well as several nrDNA genes were recovered, and approximately 130,000 nucleotides of DNA characters were used to estimate phylogenies. The PD metrics calculated for Asteraceae provided an indication of biodiversity (they served as a surrogate for all organisms) in the selected region. The conclusions are: 1) various PD metrics lead to different interpretations of biodiversity, 2) PD varied between sites, and 3) PD and species richness are not positively correlated. This study provides empirical results revealing the value of measuring PD when considering sites for conservation as well as provides direction for conservation planners in selecting the regions with the greatest evolutionary diversity.

Broader Impacts:

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1 - University of Nebraska At Omaha, Biology Graduate Program, 6001 W. Dodge Street - AH228, Omaha, NE, 68182, USA
2 - University of Nebraska at Omaha, Biology, 6001 W. Dodge St. - AH 211A, Omaha, NE, 68182, USA

conservation planning.

Presentation Type: Poster:Posters for Topics
Session: P
Location: Grand Salon A - D/Riverside Hilton
Date: Monday, July 29th, 2013
Time: 5:30 PM
Number: PCB001
Abstract ID:272
Candidate for Awards:None

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