Ranunculus triternatus occurs as a few isolated populations in Washington, Oregon, Utah, and Nevada. We are using RAPDs to measure genetic diversity among 25 individuals of one population from the Columbia Hills Preserve near Goldendale, WA. We are also examining 25 individuals from one population of the widespread sagebrush buttercup, Ranunculus glaberrimus. This will allow the diversity of the isolated species to be compared to its widespread congener. In our early analyses, each RAPD primer tested shows at least one band unique to each species. So far more variation has been detected among individuals of R. triternatus than among individuals of R. glaberrimus.

Key words: genetic diversity, Ranunculus triternatus, Ranunuculus glaberrimus, RAPD