3.9 C
Saturday, April 4, 2020
Home Journals AoB PLANTS Genetic diversity and structure of an endangered medicinal herb: implications for conservation

Genetic diversity and structure of an endangered medicinal herb: implications for conservation

Human-driven habitat fragmentation leads to spatial isolation of endangered plant species, increasing extinction risk. Understanding genetic variability and population structure of rare and isolated plant species is of great importance for assessing extinction risk and setting up conservation plans. A recent study by Lee et al. published in AoB PLANTS investigates the extinction risk of the endangered medicinal herb Aconitum austrokoreense, a species with limited dispersal ability.

A picture of Aconitum austrokoreense
A picture of an endangered perennial herb, Aconitum austrokoreense in a wild habitat, Mt. Jiri. Image credit: C.E. Lim.

The molecular analysis of 479 individuals of A. austrokoreensefrom seven populations throughout South Korea revealed that within-population level genetic diversity is low whereas the among-population divergence is high in this species. There was significant correlation between geographical and genetic distances indicating a pattern of isolation by distance. The results suggest that several populations of A. austrokoreensemight have experienced recent population bottlenecks, and that the species might have declined and/or is still declining in population size resulting in increased extinction risk. Coupled with life history traits such as dispersal ability and pollination, recent habitat fragmentation may further increase the extinction risk of the species.

William Salterhttps://williamtsalter.com/
William (Tam) Salter is a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the School of Life and Environmental Sciences and Sydney Institute of Agriculture at the University of Sydney. He has a bachelor degree in Ecological Science (Hons) from the University of Edinburgh and a PhD in plant ecophysiology from the University of Sydney. Tam is interested in the identification and elucidation of plant traits that could be useful for ecosystem resilience and future food security under global environmental change. He also has an active interest in effective scientific communication.

Latest Articles

Most Popular

10 Plants Used to Spice up Sex

It's well-known that plants can affect how the brain works. Take the right plant in the right dose and you can have an altered...

Will Martian cuisine have a terrifying surprise?

Mars One has launched a project to put humans on Mars by cutting out one of the biggest costs of the mission. Putting a...

What a Plant Knows by Daniel Chamovitz

If you're looking to show doubters that plants are fascinating then a good starting point is Daniel Chamovitz's What a Plant Knows. I was...

Welcome to Fascination of Plants Day on AoB Blog

Today is Fascination of Plants Day. To celebrate we'll have a few posts out today. At midday we have a review of What a...

Recent Comments