Hybridization and genetic variation in arctic grasses: molecular, morphological and ecological evidence

Regions: Inuvialuit Settlement Region

Tags: biology, ecological indicators, vegetation, genetic diversity, hybridization, grass

Principal Investigator: Gillespie, Lynn J. (6)
Licence Number: 12819
Organization: Canadian Museum of Nature
Licensed Year(s): 1997 1995 1994
Issued: Jan 01, 1995
Project Team: one field assistant (to be chosen)

Objective(s): To study hybridization and genetic variation in the arctic grass genus Poa. Poa is an important genus ecologically since it includes important indicator species of disturbed environments. By analyzing and comparing the DNA of different species we can study which grasses are distinct species and which are hybrids between two different species. This will help us to define species among grasses, to understand their relationships and to study their origin. The research will also aid us in writing guides to the identification of arctic grasses.

Project Description: The researcher will collect living plants (Arctic grasses), 6 - 10 species from each collection site. In addition, several plants of each species will be pressed and dried as voucher specimens to be used to check the identification. Photographs of the plants and their habitats will be made. In Ottawa, variations in DNA among different populations and species will be analyzed to study species relationships and hybridization events in the genus Poa.