Genetic Consequences of Fragmentation in Fraser Fir Populations

EPA Grant Number: U915405
Title: Genetic Consequences of Fragmentation in Fraser Fir Populations
Investigators: Clark, Catherine M.
Institution: North Carolina State University
EPA Project Officer: Michaud, Jayne
Project Period: August 1, 1998 through August 1, 2001
Project Amount: $75,996
RFA: STAR Graduate Fellowships (1998) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Fellowship - Risk Assessment , Ecological Indicators/Assessment/Restoration , Academic Fellowships


The objective of this research project is to relate biological and genetic indices to landscape-level indicators of fragmentation in Fraser fir—Abies fraseri (Pursh) Poir. The specific objectives of this project include the development of molecular genetic markers to characterize pollen and seed dispersal within populations, and diversity and population structure at the landscape level. Quantitative information on processes that promote and maintain diversity and species integrity in forest trees will be assessed at the molecular level to provide useful indicators for monitoring genetic change in fragmented populations and developing gene conservation strategies.


A hierarchical sampling scheme for A. fraseri fir will include paired samples from each of the six major population centers. Variation and dispersal within stands will be characterized by finer scale sampling in six stands. Seed collections from the intensively sampled stands will be used to evaluate germination and seedling growth in greenhouse studies. A geographic information systems database for fir populations in the southern Appalachians that includes genetic data and landscape scale descriptions will be implemented. Indicators of the genetic, ecological, and biological risks associated with fragmentation will be developed in model outputs that incorporate genetic and spatial data.

Supplemental Keywords:

fellowship, Abies fraseri, fragmentation, population genetics, inbreeding, dispersal, chloroplast, mitochondria, microsatellite., RFA, Scientific Discipline, Ecosystem Protection/Environmental Exposure & Risk, Ecology, exploratory research environmental biology, Genetics, Ecosystem/Assessment/Indicators, Chemical Mixtures - Environmental Exposure & Risk, Ecosystem Protection, Forestry, Ecological Effects - Environmental Exposure & Risk, Ecological Effects - Human Health, Ecology and Ecosystems, Molecular Biology/Genetics, Ecological Indicators, pollen flow, cytonuclear distribution, Abies Mill, fraser fir, gene transfer, genetic differentiation, balsam fir

Progress and Final Reports:

  • 1999
  • 2000
  • Final