Howell, Jacquelyn S. , Morris, Ashley B. .
Assessing abiotic and genetic control of pitcher morphology in Sarracenia.
Carnivorous plants are fascinating due to their ability to utilize insects for nutrition. Pitcher plants (Sarracenia spp.) are a special class of carnivorous plants that use pitfall traps to capture prey; enzymes within the pitcher then degrade the bodies of their prey for nutrients. These pitchers, which are modified leaves, exhibit a great deal of morphological plasticity. Previous work indicates that such variation may be the result of several factors, including hybridization and soil nutrient content. Our work will focus on the correlations between Sarracenia pitcher morphology, population genetic structure, and soil nutrient content as tools to define species boundaries and hybrid zones. This work will take place within the Splinter Hill Bog Preserve (TNC), where four sites will be selected for surveying based on annual or biannual burning. Within each site, a CVS vegetation plot will be established to allow for estimates of species richness and diversity of associated plant communities. A maximum of 36 Sarracenia plants (regardless of species) will be sampled at regularly spaced intervals along parallel transects within each plot, for a total of 144 across all sites. All sampled plants will be photo-documented, genotyped using 12 microsatellite loci, and assessed for morphological variation following previously published literature. Ground water samples will also be collected within each site, to allow for assessment of soil nutrient content. Any documented correlations among these variables will allow us to better define species boundaries and the extent of hybridization among Sarracenia species.
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1 - University of South Alabama, Department of Biology, Life Sciences Building 124, Mobile, AL, 36688, USA
Splinter Hill Bog Preserve (TNC).
Presentation Type: Poster:Posters for Topics
Location: Event Tent/Cliff Lodge
Date: Monday, July 27th, 2009
Time: 5:30 PM