Integrating Multiple Lines of Evidence to Explore Intraspecific Variability in a Rare Endemic Alpine Plant and Implications for Its Conservation

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Adamo , M , Mammola , S , Noble , V & Mucciarelli , M 2020 , ' Integrating Multiple Lines of Evidence to Explore Intraspecific Variability in a Rare Endemic Alpine Plant and Implications for Its Conservation ' , Plants , vol. 9 , no. 9 , 1160 . https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9091160

Title: Integrating Multiple Lines of Evidence to Explore Intraspecific Variability in a Rare Endemic Alpine Plant and Implications for Its Conservation
Author: Adamo, Martino; Mammola, Stefano; Noble, Virgile; Mucciarelli, Marco
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Finnish Museum of Natural History
Date: 2020-09
Language: eng
Number of pages: 19
Belongs to series: Plants
ISSN: 2223-7747
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/321967
Abstract: We studied the ecology, distribution, and phylogeography of Tephroseris balbisiana, a rare plant whose range is centered to the South-Western Alps. Our aim was to assess the extent of intraspecific variability within the nominal species and the conservation status of isolated populations. We studied genetic diversity across the whole species range. We analyzed leaf traits, which are distinctive morphological characters within the Tephroseris genus. A clear pattern of genetic variation was found among populations of T. balbisiana, which clustered according to their geographic position. On the contrary, there was a strong overlap in the morphological space of individuals across the species' range, with few peripheral populations diverging in their leaf morphology. Studying habitat suitability by means of species distribution models, we observed that T. balbisiana range is primarily explained by solar radiation and precipitation seasonality. Environmental requirements could explain the genetic and morphological uniformity of T. balbisiana in its core distribution area and justify genetic, morphological, and ecological divergences found among the isolated populations of the Apennines. Our findings emphasize the need to account for the whole diversity of a species, comprising peripheral populations, in order to better estimate its status and to prioritize areas for its conservation.
Subject: Apennines
genetic diversity
leaf morphology
South-Western Alps
species distribution modelling
Tephroseris balbisiana
ECOLOGICAL CHARACTERISTICS
SPECIES DELIMITATION
SEQUENCE ALIGNMENT
GENETIC DIVERSITY
BIODIVERSITY
POPULATION
NICHE
SHAPE
INFERENCE
EVOLUTION
1181 Ecology, evolutionary biology
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