Biodiversity and Evolution of Plants

Niklas Buhk

PhD student in the working group Biodiversity and Evolution of Plants 

PhD thesis

EFFECTS OF GENETIC DIVERSITY ON COLONIZATION, CYTOTYPE DISTRIBUTION AND COMMUNITY COMPOSITION OF GLASSWORTS (SALICORNIA)

Salicornia is a genus of halophytes that belongs to the dominant genera of the salt marshes of the North Sea as well as the Atlantic- and Mediterranean Sea.

Due to a lack of variability inside this genus taxa are hard to distinguish. The variability inside described species on the other hand is very high due to phenotypic plasticity. But Salicornia can be assigned into diploid and tetraploid cytotypes. These two groups differ in their adaption to divergend factors of the different zones of the salt marsh and therefore occur in different distances to the average flood stage.

Genetic analyses are planed to assign morphologic and physiologic traits to these two cytotypes. Additionally I plan to analyse the colonization of the salt marsh by different cytotypes and their effect on the biodiversity.

Since the salt marsh with its high concentration of salt can be counted as an extreme environment its very likely that symbiotic fungi like arbuscular mycorrhizae (AM) live in symbiosis with halophytes. Such symbioses have been described for Salicornia in the past.

I plan to investigate if there is a system behind symbioses of fungi and Salicornia, for example with the different zones of the salt marsh or the cytotypes of Salicornia. Additionally I want to investigate if and how fungi like AM influence the process to make new habitats accessible to Salicornia and if there is a correlation of the concentration of spores or their distribution with the new-colonization by this genus.

Curriculum vitae

2009_2012

Bachelor of Biology at the Carl von Ossietzky University Oldenburg

2012

Bachelor thesis: Morphological and molecular analysis of chinese Veronica subsection Canae

2012-2014

Master of Biology at the Carl von Ossietzky University Oldenburg

2014

Master thesis: Population genetic analysis of Salicornia L. in five populations along the German North Sea

Since 2014

PhD thesis

 

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