Project description: Androsace septentrionalis is a widespread annual species, circumboreal in its distribution. It is self-pollinating and thought to be incredibly plastic across its range. In the San Bernardino Mountains, it occurs in its typical habitat atop the alpine summit of Mt. San Gorgonio, but it also occurs in a relictual alpine community at considerably lower elevations. My current hypothesis is that the Baldwin Lake populations of Androsace on the pebble plains in the San Bernardino Mountains are not conspecific with plants in the alpine zone higher up. I believe this lower elevation entity represents a new species of Androsace, possibly a result of hybridization between Androsace septentrionalis and A. occidentalis.
Project goals: Assess conspecificity of populations of Androsace septentrionalis in the alpine zone of the San Bernardino Mountains, on the pebble plains at lower elevations, and from elsewhere throughout its range using molecular and anatomical tools as well as common garden experiments to clarify taxonomy in the group.
Brilliant flowering for this microscopic annual in April, 2011. Baldwin Lake Ecological Reserve, San Bernardino Mountains.
Androsace sp. nov. from the pebble plains of north Baldwin Lake, San Bernardino Mountains, southern California.
Corolla exceeding the calyx in flowering with few peduncles.
Baldwin Lake Ecological Reserve, San Bernardino Mountains.
Short stature, few peduncles consistently supporting few pedicels. Baldwin Lake Ecological Reserve, San Bernardino Mountains.
– Plant material for DNA sequencing analysis collected from the Spring Mountains of Nevada and the pebble plains of Baldwin Lake and alpine zone of Mt. San Gorgonio in the San Bernardino Mountains. Spring 2012.
– Common garden experiment initiated (comparative study) using seed material collected from Baldwin Lake and Mt. San Gorgonio, a single individual sets seed from self-pollination! Fall 2012.
– Genetic evidence distinguishes the Baldwin Lake Androsace from A. septentrionalis! Fall 2012.