Economic Botany: Evolution of Cultivated Plants
Miller, Allison , Knouft, Jason .
GIS-based characterization of the ecological niches of wild and cultivated populations of the Mesoamerican fruit tree Spondias purpurea (Anacardiaceae).
PLANT domestication involves numerous evolutionary processes (e.g., selection, drift) that lead to morphological and genetic changes in cultivated populations as compared with their wild ancestors. In addition, selective propagation of individuals that can survive in a variety of climatic conditions, and the subsequent dispersal of preferred individuals, has resulted in the geographic expansion of cultivated populations relative to their wild ancestors. In this study, we employ a GIS-based approach to characterize the ecological niches of wild and cultivated populations of the Mesoamerican fruit tree Spondias purpurea, and to identify specific aspects of broad-scale habitat (e.g., elevation, precipitation, temperature) that differ between cultivated and wild populations. Locality data for 86 cultivated S. purpurea populations and 28 wild S. purpurea populations were used in conjunction with the ecological niche modeling application GARP (Genetic Algorithm for Rule Set Prediction) and 20 GIS environmental data sets. Interpredictivity analyses and principal components analysis reveal that the niche of the wild populations, as characterized using GIS data, has been conserved during the domestication of S. purpurea. In addition, results indicate that the niche occupied by cultivated S. purpurea populations is relatively broad compared to the niche occupied by the wild populations, suggesting that the niche of S. purpurea populations has expanded during the domestication process. Significant differences between wild and cultivated populations were detected for five environmental variables linked to seasonality, corresponding to the expansion of S. purpurea during the domestication process from its native habitat in the tropical dry forests of western Mesoamerica into less seasonal habitats.
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1 - University of Colorado, University of Colorado Museum, Ucb 265, Bruce Curtis Building, Boulder, Colorado, 80309-0265
ecological niche model
tropical dry forest
Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Topics
Location: 303/Bell Memorial Union
Date: Tuesday, August 1st, 2006
Time: 9:15 AM