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In situ conservation of wild cherry (Prunus avium L.) in Europe

Teeling, Claire (2012)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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Abstract

The aim of this project was to combine species distribution modelling (SDM) with the results of a molecular genetic diversity study to make suggestions for sites on which to locate genetic reserves. This work was complemented by a molecular genetic diversity and a forest management policy study, to examine the potential for in situ conservation of the crop wild relative species, Prunus avium.

In order to identify the species distribution, the most widely available occurrence data were in the form of historical records, gathered from online repositories and herbaria. A selection of environmental variables were incorporated with occurrence records in the SDM software, MaxEnt, to estimate the existing and possible future distribution of this species. Different sampling methods and combinations of accessions were used to evaluate model performance.

This work was supplemented by the use of microsatellite marker analysis, to identify genetic distance among samples collected, covering the species‘ range. Clear separation was found between the individuals from the south-eastern edge of the range, and all other European samples. The effect of management practices on the persistence of wild cherry in managed forests and the impact of conservation policy was also considered, using case studies from the UK and Belgium, interviews and grey literature.

Results showed that the difficulties of obtaining reliable, unbiased data can be overcome, as long as these factors are considered in conservation planning. Suggestions are made for several potential reserve sites across Europe, in a variety of forested environments, with differing management priorities.

Type of Work:Ph.D. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Ford-Lloyd, Brian and Maxted, Nigel and van der Horst, Dan
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Life & Environmental Sciences
Department:School of Biosciences
Additional Information:

Embargo until 31 May 2014

Subjects:QK Botany
SD Forestry
Institution:University of Birmingham
ID Code:4390
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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