Research Publications: UM-SG-RS-2012-05


Does genetic diversity of restored sites differ from natural sites? A comparison of Vallisneria americana (Hydrocharitaceae) populations within the Chesapeake Bay.




Lloyd, MW; Burnett, RK; Engelhardt, KAM; Neel, MC


Conservation Genetics
13 ( 3 ) : 753 - 765




The goal of ecological restoration is to re-establish self-sustaining ecosystems that will resist future perturbation without additional human input. We focus here on the re-establishment of submersed aquatic macrophyte beds in the restoration of the Chesapeake Bay estuary. Degraded environmental conditions are often to blame for poor bed establishment, but genetic factors could also be contributing to low survival. We quantified the effect of restoration practices on genetic diversity in the submersed aquatic plant species Vallisneria americana Michx. (Hydrocharitaceae) in the Chesapeake Bay. In 2007, we collected 440 shoots from 8 restored/natural site pairs and 4 restoration stock repositories, and genotyped those individuals at 10 microsatellite loci. Restoration practices do not appear to negatively impact genetic diversity, and basic measures of genetic diversity within restored sites overlap with natural sites. However, small population size of restored sites, significant inbreeding coefficients within 3 sites, and low overlap of allele composition among sites provide cause for concern. These problems are relatively minor, and we propose several corrections that would alleviate them altogether. Managers should be encouraged by our findings as well as the current state of the genetic diversity within V. americana restoration efforts.

Related Research Project(s) Funded by Maryland Sea Grant:

Maryland Sea Grant Topic(s):

'Related Research Project(s)' link to details about research projects funded by Maryland Sea Grant that led to this publication. These details may include other impacts and accomplishments resulting from the research.

'Maryland Sea Grant Topic(s)' links to related pages on the Maryland Sea Grant website.

The Blue Crab: Callinectes Sapidus

An essential resource for researchers, students, and managers.  Get your copy today!

pile of cooked crabs

5825 University Research Court, Suite 1350 | College Park, MD 20740 | Phone: (301) 405-7500 | Fax: (301) 314-5780 | Contact Us

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • YouTube
  • Flickr
  • RSS