April 14 2009

12:00 BSRB 154

Ben Wang
UCLA Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

"There goes the neighborhood: Impacts of hunting on population genetics of an African rainforest tree"


Throughout the tropics, mammalian seed dispersers are being hunted to local extinction, generating concern not only about the loss of these species, but also about the consequences for plants they disperse. In this presentation, I will assess the impacts of loss of mammalian seed dispersers on composition and genetic neighborhoods of trees in Cameroonian rainforest. First, I will quantify the loss of mammalian seed dispersers and examine its effect on hornbill populations and the composition of seedling communities that they generate. Then I will focus on the population genetics of Antrocaryon klaineanum (Anacardiaceae), a tree which relies on mammals for seed dispersal. Using a combination of classic techniques such as genetic maternity analysis and newer analyses such as TwoGener and PMI, I will provide strong evidence that loss of dispersal agents can lead to drastically reduced genetic neighborhoods, creating an acute risk of loss of genetic diversity and the ability to respond to stochastic environmental changes.















































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































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