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Phylogeography of the lichen Lobaria pulmonaria and its gene flow and clonality in different European land-use types

English title Phylogeography of the lichen Lobaria pulmonaria and its gene flow and clonality in different European land-use types
Applicant Scheidegger Christoph
Number 105830
Funding scheme Project funding (Div. I-III)
Research institution Swiss Federal Research Inst. WSL Direktion
Institution of higher education Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research - WSL
Main discipline Botany
Start/End 01.04.2005 - 31.12.2008
Approved amount 227'000.00
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All Disciplines (3)


Keywords (6)

phylogeography; lichen forming fungi; microsatellites; conservation biology; sexual and clonal reproduction; intraspecific evolutionary lineages

Lay Summary (English)

Lay summary
Many lichens have broad geographical distribution ranges that are oftenspread over more than one continent. Evolutionary interpretations of thesebiogeographical patterns include historical long-distance dispersalleading to the wide observed distribution or, alternatively, disjunct, butecologically similar areas harbouring the remnants of formerly morecontinuous distribution areas.
Recently, our lab has developed highly variable microsatellite markers forthe widely distributed, but regionally threatened epiphytic lichen speciesLobaria pulmonaria, which showed high polymorphism. In the domain ofspatial ecology, we developed a formal integration of multivariateanalysis and geostatistics, which is currently adapted to populationgenetic data.
The aims of this project are as follows: (1) We establish a worldwide ITSphylogeography for L. pulmonaria and a more detailed phylogeography ofthis species for its European distribution based on nuclearmicrosatellites and mtDNA sequences. (2) By using a stratified samplingdesign, we investigate how different land-use types in Europe affect bothpopulation processes such as dispersal and spatial genetic structure of L.pulmonaria. (3) We establish new statistical tools for the spatialanalysis of the genetic data obtained in (1) and (2).
The scientific innovation of this project is threefold. (1) Because highlyvariable microsatellites are available for L. pulmonaria, we will providethe first detailed regional phylogeographic study on a widely distributedlichen species carried out both based on these nDNA as well as onavailable mtDNA markers. (2) The microsatellite markers allow to ascertainthe effects of evolutionary processes such as recent dispersal in relationto land-use history. (3) Patterns of clonality within populations will beanalysed in different types of disturbance in space and time, which willallow an assessment of the dispersal limitation hypothesis in this lichen.For the latter purpose, new statistical tools will be developed.These results will also provide data on the conservation biology oflichens in general (e.g. with respect to fragmentation and isolation), theconservation value of Central European populations of L. pulmonaria withregard to its global population, and, particularly, on the importance ofseminatural habitats for the conservation of the genetic diversity inendangered lichen species.
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Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 21.02.2013

Responsible applicant and co-applicants


Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
127346 Phylogeography of Dictyochloropsis reticulata, the photobiont of the lichen forming fungus Lobaria pulmonaria, their co-evolutionary processes and the implications for a global conservation strategy of a threatened mutualistic symbiosis. 01.12.2009 Project funding (Div. I-III)
59241 Genetic diversity, ecotype differentiation and mating types of a primeval-forest lichen, Lobaria pulmonaria, in fragmented and ex-tended habitats 01.05.2000 Project funding (Div. I-III)