Boechera peirsonii Conservation

This is one example of my research on biogeographic patterns of Boechera in California.bpeirsoniiDistribution of known occurrences (red symbols) and suitable habitat (blue symbols) of Boechera peirsonii, a narrow endemic restricted to high elevation sites in the San Bernardino mountains.

Project description: Boechera peirsonii is an apomictic, trigenomic triploid of known origin restricted to the higher elevation ridges of the San Bernardino Mountains in the San Gorgonio wilderness. All three parental genomes have been identified (B. lemmonnii, B. fernaldiana and B. nevadensis), all three of which do not occur in the San Bernardino Mountains but are restricted to higher elevation localities in the Basin and Range and further northward. A stabilized, digenomic diploid bridge between B. lemmonii and B. fernaldiana has been identified and also does not occur in the San Bernardino Mountains. The restriction of B. peirsonii to these southerly sites in the San Bernardino Mountains is worthy of investigation.

Project goals: Assess origin of Boechera peirsonii using biogeographic data, trichome morphology and genetic tools. Assess population demographics including identifying the full range of Boechera peirsonii.  Investigate biogeography for the species, including taking a closer look at the connection between the Transverse Ranges of southern California and the Rocky Mountains to the northeast.

IMG_0416Boechera peirsonii on the scree cliffs above Dollar Lake, 9,300ft. San Bernardino Mountains, southern California.

Bpeirsonii_trichomeTrichome of Boechera peirsonii, photographed at .33KX using the scanning electron microscope in the Anatomy Lab at RSABG.

IMG_7952Prime habitat for Boechera peirsonii on the north face of Mt. San Gorgonio (left) and Charlton Peak (right) with Dry Lake in the foreground, 9,046ft. San Bernardino Mountains, southern California.

IMG_0180Scree cliffs above Dollar Lake, type locality for the rare Boechera peirsonii, 9,300ft. San Bernardino Mountains, southern California.
– Conservation and Management Plan initiated for Boechera peirsonii. Fall 2012.
– $500 awarded by Southern California Botanists to begin fieldwork in the spring for the Conservation and Management Plan for Boechera peirsonii. Winter 2012.


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