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Harter, D*; Irl, S; Thiv, M; Beierkuhnlein, C: Genetic structuring in island endemics – analysing the effects of topography and climate on population differentiation
Poster, 41st Annual Meeting of the Ecological Society of Germany, Austria and Switzerland (GFÖ), Oldenburg: 05.09.2011 - 09.09.2011

The genus Aeonium WEBB & BERTHEL. is one of the most popular examples for adaptive radiation on islands within the plant kingdom. In a relatively short evolutionary period various ecological niches have been realized and a great variety of morphological forms and ecophysiological characteristics has developed. The Canary islands are the clear center of species diversity within that genus and recent research results imply a phylogenetic origin on that archipelago, stating Aeonium as neoendemic. Most of the species occur only on single islands and clear intrageneric lineages with vicariant island distributions can be seen, which, with respect to the young geological age of some of the Canary islands, indicates recent speciation and ongoing evolutionary processes. Considering phylogenetic and biogeographical relationships we selected three single island endemic Aeonium species of Tenerife, El Hierro and in particular La Palma and one variety distributed accross two islands to identify population structures, potential evolutionary relevant differentiations and gene flow barriers with regard to island topographies and the various climatic habitat factors on these islands. From each taxon DNA-samples comprehensively have been taken throughout the entire distribution ranges respectively. Intraspecific genetic variabilities are detected by ISSR-fingerprintings (Inter Simple Sequence Repeats) and by population genetic analyses, GIS studies and incorporation of climate data we aim to detect geographically or ecologically conditioned population differentiations. Beside these biogeographical and evolutionary investigations we combine the genetic population structure data with regional climate models and future habitat suitability models to recognize potential impacts of climate change on the investigated Aeonium taxa and thus the recent and future endangerment status of these spatially strongly restricted species.

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  • Poster: Genetic structuring in island endemics – analysing the effects of topography and climate on population differentiation
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