Event Title

Incipient Speciation Amongst Abies balsamea on Mount Moosilauke, New Hampshire

Faculty Sponsor(s)

Diana Jolles

Abstract

Like other conifers Abies balsamea (L.) Mill. is pollinated by wind, but how pollen moves among populations, affecting local genetic variation, has not been studied. Previous studies have looked at the genus Abies and have used markers that can differentiate between individual species,1 but not lineage diversification within a single geographic region. The drastic altitudinal range in the White Mountains, provides an ideal location to study how populations change and diverge along environmental gradients. The purpose of this study is to explore the morphological and genetic diversity of Abies balsamea and determine whether incipient speciation is occurring in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. Various selective pressures, including environmental conditions may be contributing to adaptations in microhabitats in which Abies balsamea is found in the region. It is predicted that genetic diversity will be greater between watersheds (WS) as the ridgelines will provide a barrier in which the pollen will be unable to cross.

Start Date

12-4-2019 12:00 PM

End Date

12-4-2019 1:00 PM

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Dec 4th, 12:00 PM Dec 4th, 1:00 PM

Incipient Speciation Amongst Abies balsamea on Mount Moosilauke, New Hampshire

Like other conifers Abies balsamea (L.) Mill. is pollinated by wind, but how pollen moves among populations, affecting local genetic variation, has not been studied. Previous studies have looked at the genus Abies and have used markers that can differentiate between individual species,1 but not lineage diversification within a single geographic region. The drastic altitudinal range in the White Mountains, provides an ideal location to study how populations change and diverge along environmental gradients. The purpose of this study is to explore the morphological and genetic diversity of Abies balsamea and determine whether incipient speciation is occurring in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. Various selective pressures, including environmental conditions may be contributing to adaptations in microhabitats in which Abies balsamea is found in the region. It is predicted that genetic diversity will be greater between watersheds (WS) as the ridgelines will provide a barrier in which the pollen will be unable to cross.