Genetic variation of spartina alterniflora in the new york metropolitan area and its relevance for marsh restoration

Ari Novy, Peter E. Smouse, Jean Marie Hartman, Lena Struwe, Josh Honig, Chris Miller, Melissa Alvarez, Stacy Bonos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


We examined the genetic population structure of Spartina alterniflora in Jamaica Bay, Queens, NY and the surrounding area in order to assist the ongoing restoration of Jamaica Bay. AMOVA (Analysis of Molecular Variance) indicated that population differences accounted for 15% of molecular variance (Φ PT∈=∈0.15, p∈=∈0.001). Observed heterozygosity (Ho) ranged from 0.61 to 0.73 among populations. A Mantel test indicated a weak and non-significant correlation between pairwise Φ PT and geographic distance matrices (r∈=∈0.34, p∈=∈0.12). A PCA revealed no obvious grouping pattern for sampled populations. Based on these data, we determined that the studied populations contained similar genetic variability to other populations in the New York vicinity and to those of the entire region. It seems likely that collection of germplasm from within the region will prove sufficient in maintaining overall genetic variation in restoration plantings. Given the small amount of genetic structure among populations within Jamaica Bay, however, it would be prudent to collect widely within the target marsh. We also recommend the practice of propagating plugs of S. alterniflora from wild seed, as opposed to using vegetative cuttings, when creating planting stock, in order to maximize genetic diversity in restored marshes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)603-608
Number of pages6
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Ecology
  • Environmental Science(all)


  • Genetic diversity
  • Local propagules
  • Poaceae
  • Restoration genetics
  • Salt water marsh


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