A Genetic Assessment of the Conservation Status of a Threatened Scrub Endemic
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Reductions in population size can cause a loss of genetic diversity and a reduced ability to adapt to changes in habitats (e.g. environmental changes/anomalies; anthropogenic effects; Frankham et. al, 2009). Lupinus westianus (Gulf Coast lupine) is a threatened scrub endemic plant that has suffered drastic declines in population size (Wunderlin and Hansen, 2008). Habitat degradation has fragmented L. westianus into small populations that are likely to be geographically isolated from one another. An understanding of current levels of genetic diversity and connectivity among populations is important for management of threated, isolated, and declining populations. Findings of this research will aid in the development of a management plan for L. westianus.