Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Hall D, First Floor (Convention Center)
With increasing patterns of habitat loss among all organisms, conservation concerns continue to grow simultaneously. One group however, remains underrepresented; aquatic insects. To understand the historical phylogeography of any of these sensitive species would provide insight into post-glacial recolonization, expansion patterns and future preservation of related taxa. Acroneuria frisoni (Plecoptera: Perlidae), is an ideal model for phylogeographic study with a quick life cycle and widespread distribution across North America. By sequencing 1511 bases of the mitochondrial gene Cytochrome Oxidase I of individuals from several populations throughout the Midwest, and comparing them directly, we have determined the regional genetic structure of this species. Data suggests this species was maintained within at least two distinct refugia throughout the last glacial maximum: the Ozarks within Arkansas and Missouri as well as an eastern refugium within central Tennessee. We can see the relative contributions of each refugium to the northward recolonization of this species, with central Tennessee proving to be the main source with multiple expansions. Sequence data demonstrating regional variation also reveals a point of secondary contact between refugia within southern Illinois, suggesting some influence from the Ozarks into the north. These data combined provide information about the likely variation that existed within individuals that historically inhabited central Illinois that have since been extirpated. Supported by molecular information, we hope to reclaim some of Illinois’s biological heritage with an informed reintroduction of population of Acroneruia frisoni that closely resembles its historical one.
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