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Article

Genetic Patterns and Climate Modelling Reveal Challenges for Conserving Sclerolaena napiformis (Amaranthaceae s.l.) an Endemic Chenopod of Southeast Australia

Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria, South Yarra 3141, Australia
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Diversity 2020, 12(11), 417; https://doi.org/10.3390/d12110417
Received: 14 October 2020 / Revised: 30 October 2020 / Accepted: 2 November 2020 / Published: 4 November 2020
Sclerolaena napiformis is a perennial chenopod endemic to southeast Australia. Human-mediated habitat loss and fragmentation over the past century has caused a rapid decline in abundance and exacerbated reduced connectivity between remnant populations across three disjunct regions. To assess conservation requirements, we measured the genetic structure of 27 populations using double digest RADseq). We combined our genetic data with habitat models under projected climate scenarios to identify changes in future habitat suitability. There was evidence of regional differentiation that may pre-date (but also may be compounded) by recent habitat fragmentation. We also found significant correlation between genetic and geographic distance when comparing sites across regions. Overall, S. napiformis showed low genetic diversity and a relatively high proportion of inbreeding/selfing. Climate modelling, based on current occupancy, predicts a reduction in suitable habitat for S. napiformis under the most conservative climate change scenario. We suggest that the best conservation approach is to maximise genetic variation across the entire species range to allow dynamic evolutionary processes to proceed. We recommend a conservation strategy that encourages mixing of germplasm within regions and permits mixed provenancing across regions to maximise genetic novelty. This will facilitate shifts in genetic composition driven by individual plant fitness in response to the novel environmental conditions this species will experience over the next 50 years. View Full-Text
Keywords: Camphorosmoideae; conservation genetics; disjunct distribution; population fragmentation; population structure; single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers Camphorosmoideae; conservation genetics; disjunct distribution; population fragmentation; population structure; single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers
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MDPI and ACS Style

Amor, M.D.; Walsh, N.G.; James, E.A. Genetic Patterns and Climate Modelling Reveal Challenges for Conserving Sclerolaena napiformis (Amaranthaceae s.l.) an Endemic Chenopod of Southeast Australia. Diversity 2020, 12, 417. https://doi.org/10.3390/d12110417

AMA Style

Amor MD, Walsh NG, James EA. Genetic Patterns and Climate Modelling Reveal Challenges for Conserving Sclerolaena napiformis (Amaranthaceae s.l.) an Endemic Chenopod of Southeast Australia. Diversity. 2020; 12(11):417. https://doi.org/10.3390/d12110417

Chicago/Turabian Style

Amor, Michael D., Neville G. Walsh, and Elizabeth A. James. 2020. "Genetic Patterns and Climate Modelling Reveal Challenges for Conserving Sclerolaena napiformis (Amaranthaceae s.l.) an Endemic Chenopod of Southeast Australia" Diversity 12, no. 11: 417. https://doi.org/10.3390/d12110417

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