Conservation genomics of red-listed plants prevalent in Central Norway

Conservation genomics of red-listed plants prevalent in Central Norway

Carex Flava. Photo: Mika Bendiksby
Carex Flava. Photo: Mika Bendiksby

Species are used as a fundamental unit in biology, ecology, and conservation, meaning that their delimitation is essential. However, delimiting species is sometimes problematic, especially for recently formed or relatively young species with few or no discriminating features, cryptic species and taxa prone to parallel and convergent evolution.

Carex section Ceratocystis (Cyperaceae) represents such a group of young species, known for its taxonomical complexity, introgressive hybridization, and vague morphological boundaries. Despite being heavily studied in the past, we are no yet closer to a consensus regarding delimitation. Several of the section’s members are red-listed Scandinavian endemics and should accordingly be considered a Nordic responsibility. A common understanding and single taxonomic treatment of the section’s members is advantageous and necessary to cooperate across borders conserving our genetic resources.

This project aims to delimit taxonomical units, further resolve the phylogenetic relationships, and investigate the evolutionary history and spacial phylogenetics within Ceratocystis on a national and global scale. To do such, we will use multiple sources of data for a holistic assessment of taxon limits (i.e. Integrative taxonomy) combining genomic analyses (phylogeography and species delimitation) with distribution modeling.


Contacts

Contacts

PhD-Candidate Malene Østreng Nygård

Supervisors:
Associate professor Mika Bendiksby
Associate professor Mike D. Martin
Associate professor/Researcher James D. M. Speed

Project status: Ongoing

Project status: Ongoing

Project period 02.2017-02.2021