Conservation Genetics in Lichens: The Case of the Rock Gnome

Jessica L. Allen, PhD, Southeastern Center for Conservation, Atlanta Botanical Garden

Dr. Allen outlines a conservation genomics approach to assessing genetic diversity between geographically separated populations of the Rock Gnome lichen, a Southern Appalachian endemic. Her results show that each locale sampled has a genetically distinct population. This suggests that the management plan for this lichen should include protecting all of the occurrences in order to preserve the greatest amount of genetic diversity within the species.