Title

Fine-scale spatial genetic structure of sycamore maple (Acer pseudoplatanus L.)

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

5-1-2012

Abstract

Knowledge of SGS in plants is vital to understand the ecological and evolutionary dynamics of populations and to plan conservation strategies. Some of the major factors that can affect spatial genetic structure (SGS) in plants are the level of gene flow, spatial arrangement and life stages of individuals within populations. Applying six highly variable microsatellite markers, we investigated the effect of these factors on spatial genetic structure selecting two natural populations of sycamore maple, which is an insect-pollinated, autotetraploid and an indigenous hardwood species in Germany and in other central European countries. The two study populations had different shapes ("compact" and "elongated") and tree densities. Significant SGS extended to ~180 m in the elongated population and to ~35 m in the compact population. Juvenile plants of the compact population showed significant SGS up to 40 m. Estimate of Sp statistic in high-density population was almost double of that in the population with low density. Gene dispersal distance in the low-density population was about 9 times higher than in the population with high density. The similar level of significant SGS in both adult and juvenile plants suggested minimal or no effect of life stages of individuals on SGS in the sycamore maple population. The data presented in this study can provide guidelines for seed collection and to establish populations for the conservation and management of genetic resources of the species. © 2011 The Author(s).

Publication Title

European Journal of Forest Research

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