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Abstract Detail

Population Genetics

Cortés-Palomec, Aurea C. [1], McCauley, Ross A. [1], Oyama, Ken [1].

Assessing the three-dimensional fine-scale genetic structure within age classes in the epiphytic orchid Laelia speciosa (Orchidaceae) in central Mexico.

Laelia speciosa (H.B.K.) Schlechter, is an endemic Mexican epiphytic orchid in the widespread Neotropical subtribe Laellinae. It is widely distributed across the principal mountain chains of the country occurring on individuals of Quercus deserticola. Laelia speciosa is currently listed as an endangered species and is under special protection in Mexico mainly due to high rates of deforestation in its natural habitat and its direct extraction from the wild to be sold as an ornamental. To evaluate how the epiphytic habit of L. speciosa, which allows for a three-dimensional arrangement of individuals, affects the fine-scale genetic structure of single canopy trees, we surveyed two replicate trees using microsatellite markers to genotype all individuals in discrete age classes. Trees were chosen from a forest in north-central Michoacán, in which due to low levels of perturbation, contains the single largest and most well-preserved population of L. speciosa. A total of 276 and 178 individuals were found on each selected tree respectively. All individuals were categorized into four age categories (Seedlings (1 year old), Juveniles (2-10), Adults I (11-20), and Adults II (over 21 years old)) based on the number of pseudobulbs. Significant genetic structure was found up to 25 cm in distance when all individuals were treated as a single age class. When the analysis was performed within each of the individual age classes, significant structure was found only in juveniles and adults I in distances up to 15 cm. To the best of our knowledge this is the fist study to evaluate the fine-scale genetic structure of an epiphytic orchid considering life history stages.

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1 - Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Centro de Investigaciones en Ecosistemas, Antigua Carretera a Pátzcuaro No. 8701, Col. Ex-Hacienda de San José de la Huerta, Morelia, Michoacán, 58190, México

fine-scale genetic structure

Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Topics
Session: 32
Location: 214/216/SUB
Date: Tuesday, July 29th, 2008
Time: 8:00 AM
Number: 32001
Abstract ID:112

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