Spatiotemporal structure of genetic variation of a spreading plant metapopulation on dynamic riverbanks along the meuse river

H Jacquemyn, O Honnay, Kris Van Looy, Peter Breyne

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    Abstract

    Long-distance seed dispersal is a crucial determinant of within-population genetic variability and among-population genetic differentiation in plant metapopulations undergoing recurrent local extinctions and (re-)colonization. We investigated the spatial and temporal structure of genetic variation in a metapopulation of Sisymbrium austriacum located along a dynamic river system using dominant AFLP markers. Data on riverbank dynamics and colonization history allowed separating populations based on their age (5 vs >5 years old). Bayesian analysis of population genetic structure indicated that populations were significantly differentiated from each other, but Mantel tests revealed that there was no relationship between pairwise geographic and genetic distances, suggesting that long-distance seed dispersal partly determines spatial genetic structure. Recent populations were less differentiated from each other than old populations. Analysis of molecular variance (AMOVA) indicated that both spatial factors and population age significantly determined genetic diversity, the effects of age being more important than spatial location. Clustering analysis revealed five large clusters, which were related primarily to population age and to a minor extent to geographical location. Our results indicate that the recurrent formation and destruction of riverbank habitats following peak flow events have a large impact on genetic diversity of riparian plant species
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalHeredity
    Volume96
    Issue number6
    Pages (from-to)471-478
    Number of pages8
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2006

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