International Journal of Ecology
If genetic variation is often positively correlated with population sizes and the presence of nearby populations and suitable habitats, landscape proxies could inform conservation decisions without genetic analyses. For six Florida scrub endemic plants (Dicerandra frutescens, Eryngium cuneifolium, Hypericum cumulicola, Liatris ohlingerae, Nolina brittoniana, and Warea carteri), we relate two measures of genetic variation, expected heterozygosity and alleles per polymorphic locus (APL), to population size and landscape variables. Presettlement areas were estimated based on soil preferences and GIS soils maps. Four species showed no genetic patterns related to population or landscape factors. The other two species showed significant but inconsistent patterns. For Liatris ohlingerae, APL was negatively related to population density and weakly, positively related to remaining presettlement habitat within 32 km. For Nolina brittoniana, APL increased with population size. The rather weak effects of population area/size and both past and current landscape structures suggest that genetic variation needs to be directly measured and not inferred for conservation planning.
Copyright © 2010 Eric S. Menges et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
This article was originally published in the International Journal of Ecology.
Menges, E.S., Dolan, R.W., Pickert, R., Yahr, R. & Gordon, D.R. (2010). Genetic Variation in Past and Current Landscapes: Conservation Implications Based on Six Endemic Florida Scrub Plants. International Journal of Ecology, 2010, pp. 1-12. doi: 10.1155/2010/503759. Available from: http://digitalcommons.butler.edu/facsch_papers/134.