Phylogeography of American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius L., Araliaceae): Implications for Conservation

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Ciara Marina Lockstadt (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
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Abstract: Historical climate change caused shifts in species’ distributions in eastern North America. Pleistocene glaciations shrunk ranges into refugia, from where they later spread northward following recession of the ice. I analyzed the post-glacial history of the declining native medicinal forest understory plant American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius L., Araliaceae). My research objectives were to 1) test the hypothesis that P. quinquefolius shows a phylogeographical break east and west of the Appalachian Mountains, 2) infer the locations of glacial refugia in the species’ range during the Last Glacial Maximum 3) identify regions of high genetic diversity and 4) develop conservation recommendations. I sequenced fourteen regions of chloroplast DNA from 158 populations across the eastern North American range of P. quinquefolius to reveal six mutations and seven haplotypes. I found weak phylogeographical structure due to an overlap of lineages within the Appalachian Mountains. The center of diversity was in the southern Appalachian Mountains, indicating possible southern refugia for P. quinquefolius. In addition, I found two unique lineages, signifying potential refugia, in the Blue Ridge and Ozark Mountains. Future research is necessary to define Evolutionarily Significant Units. Conservation efforts should focus on preserving each unique lineage in germplasm banks and in the wild.

Additional Information

Lockstadt, C.M. (2013). Phylogeography of American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius L., Araliaceae): Implications for Conservation. Unpublished master’s thesis. Appalachian State University, Boone, NC.
Language: English
Date: 2013
Ginseng, Phylogeography, Conservation, Genetics

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