Project Period

March 2008-August 2013

Level of Access

Open-Access Report

Grant Number

0743225

Submission Date

11-26-2013

Abstract

Amelanchier contains about 20 species of trees and shrubs of the North Temperate Zone. These plants bear attractive flowers, their fruits are important to wildlife, and they are valued horticulturally. Shadbushes and serviceberries, as these plants are commonly called, are native to every state of the United States except Hawaii. It has been a challenge to define the species of Amelanchier because hybridization is frequent, and novel kinds of plants created by hybridization can be widely dispersed. Some forms of shadbushes are easy to distinguish while others differ from one another in minute ways. The goal of this research is to define species in this genus based on extensive field and laboratory data.

This research will provide a new classification of species in an ecologically important group of plants. Results will be disseminated in the scientific literature and on our web site (http://biology.umaine.edu/Amelanchier/) for botanists, horticulturists, wildlife ecologists, conservation biologists, land-use managers, and others. Training of undergraduate and graduate students in plant systematics (classification) is essential to maintaining our capacity to understand and communicate about plant species. This research will provide outreach through workshops to give K-12 teachers exercises in pollination biology for their students.

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