Adaptation, Introgression, and Biogeography of the American Live Oaks (Series Virentes): Implications for Conservation on a Changing Planet

A Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Seminar Series featuring Jeannine Cavender-Bares, Dept. of Ecology, Evolution and Behavior Institute on Environment Fellow University of Minnesota

Wednesday, February 12, 2014
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
2320 Life Sciences Building


The live oaks (Quercus series Virentes) are an ecologically important lineage of southern temperate and tropical trees. They provide a compelling system in which to examine integrative questions of physiological adaptation to local environments, introgression and biogeographic history. My collaborators and I combine a series of manipulative experiments, phylogeographic studies and genomic approaches to investigate the evolutionary and biogeographic history of this group with implications for conservation. Our ecophysiological experiments demonstrate that minimum source temperatures predict freezing tolerance of populations under common environments, and that moisture indices in source locations predict how conservatively plants use water, providing evidence for local adaptation within and among closely related species. Using RADseq data, we have generated reliable fossil-calibrated phylogenetic reconstructions and documented introgression among geographically proximate populations, irrespective of degree of relatedness. Collectively, these efforts allow us to consider the context and timing of the evolution of physiological attributes and the assembly of populations into their current environments in a group of trees with high conservation significance.

Host: Victoria Sork/Lawren Sack

Refreshments will be served at 11:40 a.m.