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1 October 2018 Seed Sourcing for Longleaf Pine Herbaceous Understory Restoration: Little Bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium) and Hairy Lespedeza (Lespedeza hirta) Restoration Genetics
Danny J. Gustafson, Karen Harris-Shultz, Parker E. Gustafson, Lisa M. Giencke, R. Carol Denhof, L. Katherine Kirkman
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Abstract

Restoration of the herbaceous understory community of the longleaf pine ecosystem is limited by the availability of appropriate seeds. To understand the relationship of seed transfer zones and genetic composition of two co-occurring species of the herbaceous understory, seeds of little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium) and hairy lespedeza (Lespedeza hirta) were collected from five provisional seed transfer zones across the historical range of the longleaf pine ecosystem in the North American Coastal Plain as well as a commercially available seed source originating from outside this range. To determine the genetic structure and diversity of these plants within the seed transfer zones and the commercial source, microsatellite and inter-simple sequence repeats (ISSR) markers were used for little bluestem and hairy lespedeza, respectively. For both species, plants from within the five seed transfer zones were genetically distinct from the commercial source from Kentucky. Little bluestem and hairy lespedeza plants from two provisional seed transfer zones were more genetically similar to each other than they were to other seed zones, which could justify merging these two zones. The genetic relationships among the remaining seed zones, including the commercial source from Kentucky, roughly follow geographic proximity, with genetic similarity decreasing as a function of geographic distance. Most of the genetic variation was partitioned within and less among seed zones, despite documenting significant differences among seed zones. The results of this study support the sub–The Nature Conservancy ecoregion seed transfer zones while acknowledging species-specific differences among seed transfer zones for the longleaf pine ecosystem.

Danny J. Gustafson, Karen Harris-Shultz, Parker E. Gustafson, Lisa M. Giencke, R. Carol Denhof, and L. Katherine Kirkman "Seed Sourcing for Longleaf Pine Herbaceous Understory Restoration: Little Bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium) and Hairy Lespedeza (Lespedeza hirta) Restoration Genetics," Natural Areas Journal 38(5), 380-392, (1 October 2018). https://doi.org/10.3375/043.038.0507
Published: 1 October 2018
JOURNAL ARTICLE
13 PAGES


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KEYWORDS
hairy lespedeza ISSR markers
little bluestem microsatellite markers
seed provenance
seed transfer zones
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