Genetic, elevational and community structuring in the endangered vernal pool plant species Sebastopol meadowfoam (Limnanthes vinculans)

Publication Type  Conference Presentation
Authors  Michelle Jensen
Secondary Authors  Christina Sloop; Nancy Emery
Affiliations  Purdue University, Department of Botany and Plant Pathology; The Laguna de Santa Rosa Foundation
Year  2009
Key Words  vernal pools; endangered species; Limnanthes vinculans; spatial genetic structure; topographic gradient; plant community; mitigation

Just east of the Laguna de Santa Rosa lies the Santa Rosa Plain, a region that provides unique vernal pool habitat to many federally and state-listed endangered species. In this region and throughout California, vernal pool habitat has been dramatically reduced due to agricultural expansion and urban encroachment. Over the last 20 years, mitigation for impacts to vernal pools and their associated species has often involved the creation of new wetlands. As a result, the movement of soil inoculum has typically occurred without consideration for the spatial genetic structuring of the species or other localized ecological processes that may affect species persistence (e.g. plant community composition or microtopographic position within pools). Utilizing spatial genetic data collected for an endangered vernal pool plant species (Ayres & Sloop 2008), Sebastopol meadowfoam (Limnanthes vinculans), we recognize that genetic diversity may be structured within individual pools, instead of solely on a site by site or regional level. Additionally, data on topographic and community gradients have provided insight into the patterns of distribution for L. vinculans within and among created pools, natural pools, and natural swales. Through further genetic analyses we anticipate to assess patterns of intraspecific genetic variation, and the degree to which mitigation measures have modified such patterns within and among populations inhabiting both natural and created vernal pools.


Michelle Jensen is a graduate student in the Botany and Plant Pathology department at Purdue University. She received her B.S. in Plant Biology at the University of California, Davis, with an emphasis in ecology and evolution, and was a participant in the undergraduate research training program titled Collaborative Learning at the Interface of Mathematics and Biology (CLIMB). Some of her past internship positions include regulating impacts to wetlands through the North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board as well as assisting with the Lepidium Control Project at Cosumnes Preserve through the Information Center for the Environment.

Conference Name  2009 State of the Laguna Conference and Science Symposium
Presentation Type: 
MJensen_StateoftheLaguna2009_Poster.pdf2.4 MB