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As a result of the prolonged government shutdown, we’re expecting some presentation cancellations and will continue to update the schedule with changes as they occur.  Otherwise the conference will proceed as planned.  Current cancellations and changes are listed here.

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Tuesday, January 29 • 6:00pm - 9:00pm
(P71) Genetic Analysis and Germination Trials of an Invasive Weed (Gypsophila paniculata) Found in Two Distinct Ecosystems

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AUTHORS. Sarah K. Lamar, Charlyn G. Partridge – Grand Valley State University's Annis Water Resources Institute

ABSTRACT. Baby’s breath (Gypsophila paniculata) is an invasive herbaceous perennial that has established throughout much of North America. Within the Michigan coastal dune system the weed effectively outcompetes native plant species adapted to the unique environment and forms monotypes that threaten the federally protected Pitcher’s Thistle (Cirsium pitcheri). Baby’s breath has also established populations in the sage-steppe of central Washington state, a distinct habitat characterized by equally harsh environmental conditions. To understand the invasion success of G. paniculata between these two locations we assessed environmental, genetic, and traits differences associated with plants from these different environments. In the summer of 2018, soil, tissue, and seeds were collected from these two locations. Soil chemistry was analyzed to characterize these two unique environments, microsatellite markers were used to identify genetic similarity among these populations, and a common garden germination study was conducted to examine differences in germination rates.Preliminary results show that despite establishing in geographically and environmentally distinct habitats, as characterized by soil data, G. paniculata populations in both Chelan, Washington and Petoskey, Michigan are more genetically similar than initially expected. These results can be viewed in a larger context by assessing existing herbarium records of G. paniculata to attempt to track its spread across N. America. Germination study results further characterize differences between these two potentially locally-adapted populations. These data can be used for the greater purpose of informing targeted management of this invasive species.

Tuesday January 29, 2019 6:00pm - 9:00pm