Drummond, Emily , Vellend, Mark .
The consequences of genetic diversity for invasion success in populations of dandelions, Taraxacum officinale.
The study of species diversity and genetic diversity (within single species) have traditionally received independent treatment in the fields of community ecology and population genetics, respectively. However, these levels of biodiversity are potentially connected. Both may be influenced in parallel by the same set of locality characteristics (e.g. area, isolation, heterogeneity), or one level of diversity may have a causal effect on the other; these possibilities are not mutually exclusive. The net result is generally a positive correlation between genetic diversity and species diversity. The goal of this study was to provide an empirical test of one potential connection between genetic and species diversity. The study examined the effects of genetic diversity in populations of an apomictic plant, Taraxacum officinale, on invasiveness into two “natural” habitats. If higher population genetic diversity increases invasion success, then this could produce a positive effect on the species diversity of the invaded community. Populations of ten Taraxacum seedlings of different genotypic richnesses (populations comprised seedlings of a single genotype, of two genotypes, or of four or five genotypes) were invaded into replicate plots of two habitat types: a mowed lawn and a fallow field. Individual plants were monitored for survival and seed head production, and plant size was measured every month as a measure of plant fitness. Preliminary results indicate a significant effect of habitat on plot productivity (summed over all ten plants) and a significant interaction between population genotypic richness and habitat. In the fallow field habitat, increasing richness increases total plot productivity, while this effect is not seen in the mowed lawn habitat. The effect of richness in the fallow field habitat could be due to a selection effect or to complementarity among genotypes.
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1 - University of British Columbia, Dept. of Zoology, 2370 - 6270 University Blvd, Vancouver, BC, V6T 1Z4, Canada
2 - University of British Columbia, Dept. of Botany, 3529 - 6270 University Blvd, Vancouver, BC, V6T 1Z4, Canada
Presentation Type: Poster:Posters for Sections
Location: Ball Room & Party Room/SUB
Date: Monday, July 28th, 2008
Time: 12:30 PM