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Population genetic theory and methodology were applied to the study of endemic plant species. Levels of genetic variability were compared between endemic species and their more widespread relatives. Six of seven narrowly distributed taxa of Saxifragaceae had significantly reduced genetic diversity relative to species of Saxifragaceae with broader distributions. Two endemic species of the fern Polystichum maintained significantly lower levels of genetic variation than did their more widespread congeners. The implications of these data and those reported for other endemic plant species for designing management strategies are also discussed.

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© 1991 Pamela S. Soltis, Douglas E. Soltis

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

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