Population genetics of a rare Grevillea

For conservation of rare riparian species, avoiding an impact to hydrodynamic processes, such as water tables and flooding dynamics, may be just as critical as avoiding direct impacts on the number of plants.
Photograph of a Grevillea sp. Cooljaroo. Photo credit: Siegfried Krauss.

A recent study published by Hevroy et al. in AoB PLANTS (and designated an ‘Editor’s Choice’ selection) assessed the spatial genetic structure of a rare plant (Grevillea) situated along creeks and on floodplains in the Southwest Australian Floristic Region (SAFR). The landscape features of this unique region and the life-history traits of this species have had profound impacts on its structure. The results of the study highlight that for conservation of riparian species, avoiding an impact on hydrodynamic processes such as water tables and flooding dynamics is critical, as these processes play a vital role in species gene flow, and consequently, genetic diversity. Understanding this is important for managing threatened species, especially one in an international biodiversity hotspot such as the SAFR in Western Australia.

Reference List

Hevroy, T. H., Moody, M. L., & Krauss, S. L. (2017). Population genetic analysis reveals barriers and corridors for gene flow within and among riparian populations of a rare plant. AoB PLANTS, 10(1). http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/aobpla/plx065