1. bookVolume 63 (2014): Issue 1-6 (December 2014)
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eISSN
2509-8934
First Published
22 Feb 2016
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English
Open Access

Spatial genetic structure in the very rare and species-rich Picea chihuahuana tree community (Mexico)

Published Online: 01 Jun 2017
Volume & Issue: Volume 63 (2014) - Issue 1-6 (December 2014)
Page range: 149 - 158
Received: 24 Mar 2014
Journal Details
License
Format
Journal
eISSN
2509-8934
First Published
22 Feb 2016
Publication timeframe
1 time per year
Languages
English
Abstract

In natural plant populations, the spatial genetic structure (SGS) is occasionally associated with evolutionary and ecological features such as the mating system, individual fitness, inbreeding depression and natural selection of the species of interest. The very rare Mexican P. chihuahuana tree community covers an area no more than 300 ha and has been the subject of several studies concerning its ecology and population genetics. The overall aim of most of these studies has been to obtain data to help design preservation and conservation strategies. However, analysis of the fine-scale SGS in this special forest tree community has not yet been conducted, which might help enrich the above mentioned conservation programs. In this study, we examined the SGS of this community, mostly formed by P. chihuahuana Martínez, Pinus strobiformis Ehrenberg ex Schlechtendah, Pseudotsuga menziesii (Mirb.) Franco, and Populus tremuloides Michx, in 14 localities at both the fine and large scales, with the aim of obtaining a better understanding of evolutionary processes. We observed a non-significant autocorrelation in fine-scale SGS, suggesting that the genetic variants of all four tree species are randomly distributed in space within each sampled plot of 50 x 50 m. At the larger scale, the autocorrelation was highly significant for P. chihuahuana and P. menziesii, probably as a result of insufficient gene flow due to the extreme population isolation and small sizes. For these two species our results provided strong support for the theory of isolation by distance.

Keywords

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