Flavia Domizia Nardi
University of Salzburg
Department of Ecology and Evolution
Federal Research and Training Centre for Forests, Natural Hazards, and Landscape
Department of Genetics
My PhD project
Andreas Tribsch, University of Salzburg, Department of Ecology and Evolution
Christoph Dobeš, Federal Research and Training Centre for Forests, Natural Hazards, and Landscape, Department of Genetics
Potentilla puberula Krašan (Rosaceae) is an Alpic species in which five different cytotypes (tetra- to octoploids) are present. The ploidy level is associated with the reproductive mode: while tetraploids are usually sexual, the other cytotypes are mostly apomictic, i.e. they asexually reproduce via seeds.
In the Western Alps, all ploidy levels can be found, but the sexual tetraploids show a tendece in forming populations isolated from the other cytotypes, suggesting an influence of factors such as ecological preferences, different migration history or interactions between cytotypes at the population level.
The aim of the project is to disentangle the effects of these factors, focussing in particular on understanding the genetic relations between cytotypes and/or reproductive modes and reconstructing the phylogeographic pattern underlying the current distribution of this species in the Western Alps.
This PhD topic is part of a project funded by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) which is the result of the collaboration between Christoph Dobeš (Federal Reserach Center for Forests), Karl Hülber (University of Vienna) and Andreas Tribsch (University of Salzburg). Henar Alonso-Marcos (Federal Research Center for Forests; University of Vienna) is developing her PhD as well, investigating possible ecological and reproductive relations between sexual tetraploids and apomictic pentaploids occurring at the same population.