Paul E. Rothrock

Troy University, Troy, AL, United States

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Publications (12)13.51 Total impact

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    Paul E. Rothrock, Thomas P. Simon, Paul M. Stewart
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    ABSTRACT: We examine lacustrine wetland plant assemblages in the Central Corn Belt Plain portion of the Lake Michigan basin and developed a multimetric plant index of biotic integrity (PIBI). Our objectives were to determine the structural and functional attributes of littoral zone plant assemblages of least-impacted lacustrine wetlands, establish and test candidate metrics, statistically test and calibrate metrics, and finally validate a PIBI along a disturbance gradient. Of 35 candidate metrics, we chose 11 metrics that were grouped into four categories: species richness and composition, species tolerance, guild structure, and vegetation abundance. Based on Spearman correlations, we identified a suite of metrics, particularly those related to species richness and tolerance that had a strong response to human-induced habitat change. The overall PIBI correlated strongly with independent measures of habitat quality (p < 0.001) using a qualitative habitat index developed for lacustrine habitats. We validated the lacustrine PIBI by comparing index response to various landuse, landcover, and management types. Least impacted lakes and lakes classified as recreational or undergoing ecological restoration were not statistically separable and received the highest index scores, while the lowest scores were associated with industrial and residential land use. Least-impacted sites differ significantly (p < 0.001) from both industrial and residential lakes.
    Ecological Indicators 05/2013; 8(1):79-88. · 2.89 Impact Factor
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    P. E. Rothrock, A. A. Reznicek, L. R. Ganion
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    ABSTRACT: The Carex straminea complex (section Ovales) consists of five species limited to hydric communities of eastern North America. Based upon gross morphology and perigynium structure, these species are closely aligned with the Carex albolutescens complex but not the western species Carex feta. An SEM investigation of the micromorphology of achene and style epidermis from 15 species of Carex section Ovales demonstrated much interspecific variation. As a result, these data could not confirm the relationship between the C. straminea complex and the C. albolutescens complex but did support the delimitation of section Ovales. Numerical analysis showed that characters of the inflorescence and perigynium are satisfactory for separating C. straminea from Carex hormathodes, a species limited to the Atlantic coast. Likewise, characters of inflorescence, pistillate scale, and perigynium could clearly separate the geographically widespread Carex alata from the Florida endemic species Carex vexans. A fifth and relatively distinctive species, Carex suberecta, was found to have a narrow ecological preference for fens and a distribution limited to the upper Midwest, with outlying populations in western Virginia. Putative natural hybrids are documented between Carex scoparia and Carex longii and some species in the C. straminea complex. Key words: Carex, Cyperaceae, section Ovales, taxonomy, SEM, biogeography, hybrid.
    Canadian Journal of Botany 02/2011; 75(12):2177-2195. · 1.40 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Chromosome rearrangements may affect the rate and patterns of gene flow within species, through reduced fitness of structural heterozygotes or by reducing recombination rates in rearranged areas of the genome. While the effects of chromosome rearrangements on gene flow have been studied in a wide range of organisms with monocentric chromosomes, the effects of rearrangements in holocentric chromosomes--chromosomes in which centromeric activity is distributed along the length of the chromosome--have not. We collected chromosome number and molecular genetic data in Carex scoparia, an eastern North American plant species with holocentric chromosomes and highly variable karyotype (2n = 56-70). There are no deep genetic breaks within C. scoparia that would suggest cryptic species differentiation. However, genetic distance between individuals is positively correlated with chromosome number difference and geographic distance. A positive correlation is also found between chromosome number and genetic distance in the western North American C. pachystachya (2n = 74-81). These findings suggest that geographic distance and the number of karyotype rearrangements separating populations affect the rate of gene flow between those populations. This is the first study to quantify the effects of holocentric chromosome rearrangements on the partitioning of intraspecific genetic variance.
    Molecular Ecology 08/2010; 19(15):3124-38. · 6.28 Impact Factor
  • P E Rothrock, A A Reznicek, A L Hipp
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    ABSTRACT: According to previous molecular study, the Carex tenera group sensu lato consists of C. tenera s. l. and C. normalis in one clade and C. festucacea, C. oronensis, and C. tincta in a sister clade. We found that Carex tincta, clarified by thorough review of herbarium materials, has a much narrower geographic range than previously thought, centering on Maine (U. S. A.), adjacent states, and adjacent portions of Canada with rare scattered occurrences to western Lake Superior. Carex tenera has traditionally been thought to consist of two varieties: the transcontinental variety tenera and the upper Midwest (U. S. A.) variety echinodes. In light of ecological and chromosomal differences, AFLP genetic distances, and morphological analysis the latter should be recognized as a distinct species, Carex echinodes comb. et stat. nov. Carex echinodes and narrow-leaved forms of C. normalis can be challenging to differentiate morphologically, but widest leaf width, inflorescence internode length, peduncle diameter, and growth habit separate the two taxa. New chromosome numbers are reported, with those of C. tenera (n = 24 + 2III, 26, 27, 28) having a lower range than either those of C. echinodes (n = 37, 38, 39) or C. normalis (n = 34, 35, 36).
    Systematic Botany. 01/2009; 34(2):297-311.
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    Paul E. Rothrock, Anton A. Reznicek, Andrew L. Hipp
    Systematic Botany - SYST BOT. 01/2009; 34(2):297-311.
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    ABSTRACT: Phylogenetic analysis of amplified fragment length polymorphisms (AFLP) was used to infer pat-terns of morphologic and chromosomal evolution in an eastern North American group of sedges (ENA clade I of Carex sect. Ovales). Distance analyses of AFLP data recover a tree that is topologically congruent with previous phylogenetic estimates based on nuclear ribosomal DNA (nrDNA) sequences and provide support for four species groups within ENA clade I. A maximum likelihood method designed for analysis of restriction site data is used to evaluate the strength of support for alternative topologies. While there is little support for the precise placement of the root, the likelihood of topol-ogies in which any of the four clades identified within the ENA clade I is forced to be paraphyletic is much lower than the likelihood of the optimal tree. Chromosome counts for a sampling of species from throughout sect. Ovales are mapped onto the tree, as well as counts for all species in ENA clade I. Parsimony reconstruction of ancestral character states suggest that: (1) Heilborn's hypothesis that more highly derived species in Carex have higher chromosome counts does not apply within sect. Ovales, (2) the migration to eastern North America involved a decrease in average chromosome count within sect. Ovales, and (3) intermediate chromosome counts are ancestral within ENA clade I. A more precise understanding of chromosomal evolution in Carex should be possible using likelihood analyses that take into account the intraspecific polymorphism and wide range of chromosome counts that characterize the genus.
    Aliso. 01/2007; 23:193-203.
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    ABSTRACT: Section Ovales is the most species-rich section of the sedge genus Carex in the New World. Phylogenetic analyses of molecular data recover a predominantly New World clade as sister to a solitary east Asian species, C. maackii. Nuclear ribosomal DNA are congruent in the placement of all taxa within the section, with a solitary exception: incongruence between ITS and ETS data in the placement of C. bonplandii and C. roraimensis suggests a hybrid origin for this lineage. Biogeography correlates strongly with phylogeny in the section, but there have been at least two instances of long-range dispersal, one from an eastern North American clade to western North America and one from the New World to Eurasia. Morphological characters studied are all homoplastic. Developing a comprehensive infrasectional classification with a phylogenetic basis would be complicated by the fact that most of the novel morphological characters in the section have evolved within relatively small, independent clades.
    International Journal of Plant Sciences - INT J PLANT SCI. 01/2006; 167(5).
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    Thomas P. Simon, Paul M. Stewart, Paul E. Rothrock
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    ABSTRACT: Riverine and palustrine wetland plant communities were examined in order to propose a multimetric plant index of biotic integrity. The objectives were to determine the structural and functional attributes of these wetland plant communities, calibrate reference conditions in assessing aquatic plant communities, provide methods for further development and testing of the index, and present a case study. The index is based on a rapid assessment method using the information collected from a species list and cover estimates. Sampling was done using a modified relevé sampling approach with a modified Braun-Blanquet Cover Abundance Scale Method for estimating percent cover. More than 20 characteristics of aquatic plant communities were evaluated and 12 metrics in five categories were developed. Structural metrics focused on community composition, key indicator species such as number of Carex and Potamogeton species, and guild type. Functional metrics included sensitivity and tolerance measures; percent emergent, pioneer, and obligate wetland species; and the number of weed species as a substitute metric. Abundance was estimated based on evenness of average cover densities. Individual condition was suggested as a measure of the lowest extremes of biotic integrity. Palustrine study sites ranged across a disturbance gradient from 'least-impacted' to 'poor'; riverine study sites ranged from high quality to some of the most degraded riverine sites in the Great Lakes region. Ninety-five species of aquatic vascular plants were found in 42 families. The most common families were Cyperaceae (15 species), Polygonaceae (9 species), and Juncaceae (6 species). Fourteen submergent, four floating, two woody and 75 emergent aquatic plant taxa were found. Five species were on the endangered, threatened, or rare list for the State of Indiana. Sites receiving the highest index scores included several of the a priori least-impacted sites while the lowest scores were located near-field to a large industrial landfill. The index will need to be further validated and tested but shows potential as a rapid index of biotic integrity using aquatic plant assemblages.
    Aquatic Ecosystem Health and Management 09/2001; 4(3):293-309. · 0.77 Impact Factor
  • Paul E. Rothrock, A. A. Reznicek
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    ABSTRACT: Carex ozarkana, a new species from Arkansas, Oklahoma, and extreme northeasternmost Texas is described and illustrated. It is a distinctive regional endemic of mineral soil wetlands most similar to the widespreadCarex albolutescens andC. longii but differing in its elongate, nodding inflorescences (on robust plants), prominently clavate spikes with elongate staminate bases, reddish brown pistillate and staminate scales, and wider achenes with a long apiculum.
    Brittonia 12/1995; 48(1):104-110. · 0.65 Impact Factor
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    Andrew L. Hipp, Paul E. Rothrock, Eric H. Roalson
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    ABSTRACT: Sedges (Carex: Cyperaceae) exhibit remarkable agmatoploid chromosome series between and within species. This chromosomal diversity is due in large part to the structure of the holocentric chromosomes: fragments that would not be heritable in organisms with monocentric chromosomes have the potential to produce viable gametes in organisms with holocentric chromosomes. The rapid rate of chromosome evolution in the genus and high species diversification rate in the order (Cyperales Hutch., sensu Dahlgren) together suggest that chromosome evolution may play an important role in the evolution of species diversity in Carex. Yet the other genera of the Cyperaceae and their sister group, the Juncaceae, do not show the degree of chromosomal variation found in Carex, despite the fact that diffuse centromeres are a synapomorphy for the entire clade. Moreover, fission and fusion apparently account for the majority of chromosome number changes in Carex, with relatively little duplication of whole chromosomes, whereas polyploidy is relatively important in the other sedge genera. In this paper, we review the cytologic and taxonomic literature on chromosome evolution in Carex and identify unanswered questions and directions for future research. In the end, an integration of biosystematic, cytogenetic, and genomic studies across the Cyperaceae will be needed to address the question of what role chromosome evolution plays in species diversification within Carex and the Cyperaceae as a whole.
    The Botanical Review 75(1):96-109. · 1.53 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

93 Citations
13.51 Total Impact Points


  • 2013
    • Troy University
      • Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences
      Troy, AL, United States
  • 1995–2013
    • Taylor University
      • Earth and Environmental Sciences Department
      Upland, Indiana, United States