We are using DNA data to further understand the reproductive biology of an under-studied oak, Quercus havardii, which will help inform seed collection strategies and collection management.
We are working with a threatened shrub oak found in the Western US, called shinnery oak (Q. havardii). This species is a very small tree which occurs in sand dune habitats. This unique species can spread underground via clonal propagation- this means that multiple, even hundreds, of stems could be one individual plant. There is currently limited knowledge about how large and far clones can spread, so we are using DNA markers to investigate clonal structure and distribution at different sites. We predict that some sites will be more clonal than others.This information will help us understand the the reproductive biology this oak, which will help inform seed collection strategies and collection management.
The Morton Arboretum