Iris atrofusca genetic and phenotypic variation, the role of habitat-specific selection in this variation structuring, and conservation implications using quasi in situ guidelines

In: Israel Journal of Plant Sciences

Knowing the extent and structure of genetic variation in an endangered species is essential for establishing efficient conservation practices. However, the proper use of this information requires understanding the role of habitat-specific selection in genetic structuring. We present a study of population differentiation in an endangered species that utilizes guidelines of recently a proposed quasi in situ conservation approach, i.e. taking into account the scale and spatial pattern of local adaptation since if local adaptation is important, the introduced genotypes must be matched to the local biotic/abiotic conditions. Following this approach, we examined the extent and structure of genetic (AFLP) and phenotypic variation and tested for adaptive significance of this variation in critically endangered Iris atrofusca growing in Israel and Jordan. From these results we propose a sampling design that would (i) preserve species adaptive potential and (ii) insure environmental match of the plant material for relocation, reintroduction or enhancement.

Supplementary Materials

    • Figure S1: Flowers
    • Table S1: List of source populations for plants used in the study, and their estimated sizes
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