Individual and comparative phylogeographies of disjunctly distributed arctic-alpine plant species
Kristine B. WestergaardThe main objective of my thesis is to study the phylogeography and conservation genetics of disjunctly distributed and fragmented populations of arctic-alpine plant species, in particular species without obvious adaptations to long-distance dispersal.
- We use AFLPs and cpDNA variation to investigate the phylogeographic history of the rare Arenaria humifusa and Sagina caespitosa, two of the highly disjunct amphi-Atlantic species traditionally considered to provide the strongest evidence for in situ glacial survival in the East Atlantic region. We are now interpreting and discussing their glacial history based on our results on genetic diversity and distinctiveness, and also the implications for conservation. (co-authors: Inger Greve Alsos, Magnus Popp, Torstein Engelskjøn, Kjell-Ivar Flatberg and Christian Brochmann).
- I am using AFLPs and cpDNA variation to investigate the phylogeographic history of two disjunct amphi-Atlantic sedges: Carex scirpoidea and C. rufina.
- We used AFLPs and cpDNA variation to investigate the phylogeographic history of Saxifraga rivularis, which has one of the most extreme disjunctions known in the arctic flora: it has a small amphi-Beringian range and a larger amphi-Atlantic one (Westergaard et al 2010).
- We used a phylogeographic approach to address the origin and genetic diversity of Scottish populations of 19 common and rare arctic-alpine plants, and asked whether they contained unique genetic components relevant for management and protection recommendations (link til pdf: Westergaard et al 2008).
- We used a phylogeographic approach to investigate plant colonization patterns and abilities in the Arctic, using nine species with different adaptations to long-distance dispersal and the remote archipelago of Svalbard as a model system (Alsos et al 2007).