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Abstract Detail

Bryological and Lichenological Section/ABLS

Korpelainen, Helena [1], Virtanen, Viivi [1], Kostamo, Kirsi [1], Karttunen, Hanna [1], Pietilšinen, Maria [1].

Genetic diversity of bryophytes in urban ecosystems.

MANY plant species have declined as a result of human activities, such as habitat fragmentation and reduction, which have led to a decrease in population size and genetic diversity. Anthropogenic effects are generally most pronounced in urban ecosystems, where habitat fragmentation may be accompanied with major changes in the quality of the environment and possibly exposure to environmental contaminants. In the present study, we have investigated the population biological processes of bryophytes in urban ecosystems and compared them to populations occurring in natural or semi-natural habitats in southern Finland. The research concentrates on three bryophyte species, the mosses Pleurozium schreberi and Rhytidiadelphus squarrosus, and the hepatic Plagiochila asplenioides, which are all common taxa and known to occur also in human-impacted habitats. The general aim of the project is to investigate genetic diversity, demographic structure and the role of selection in the maintenance of adaptive variation, and to find the causes influencing the performance of bryophyte populations occupying urban ecosystems when compared to populations inhabiting natural habitats. Here we report the results obtained from the first set of genetic assays conducted using microsatellite markers, which are considered neutral and which generally possess considerable variation. For each species we have developed 9-12 microsatellite markers which have been analyzed when genotyping the targeted populations. Most marker loci showed polymorphism at the within-population level in the case of both urban and natural populations. The population genetic characterization, with the use of neutral marker loci, forms a basis for further analysis concentrating on adaptive, gene-targeted variation in order to obtain information on functional variation and selection processes.

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1 - University of Helsinki, Department of Applied Biology, P.O. Box 27, Helsinki, FI-00014, Finland

population genetics
urban ecosystems.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Sections
Session: 68-2
Location: 350/Holt
Date: Wednesday, August 2nd, 2006
Time: 8:45 AM
Abstract ID:295

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