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Genetic population structure, fitness variation and the importance of population history in remnant populations of the endangered plant Silene chlorantha (Willd.) Ehrh. (Caryophyllaceae)

  • Habitat fragmentation can lead to a decline of genetic diversity, a potential risk for the survival of natural populations. Fragmented populations can become highly differentiated due to reduced gene flow and genetic drift. A decline in number of individuals can result in lower reproductive fitness due to inbreeding effects. We investigated genetic variation within and between 11 populations of the rare and endangered plant Silene chlorantha in northeastern Germany to support conservation strategies. Genetic diversity was evaluated using AFLP techniques and the results were correlated to fitness traits. Fitness evaluation in nature and in a common garden approach was conducted. Our analysis revealed population differentiation was high and within population genetic diversity was intermediate. A clear population structure was supported by a Bayesian approach, AMOVA and neighbour-joining analysis. No correlation between genetic and geographic distance was found. Our results indicate that patterns of population differentiation were mainlyHabitat fragmentation can lead to a decline of genetic diversity, a potential risk for the survival of natural populations. Fragmented populations can become highly differentiated due to reduced gene flow and genetic drift. A decline in number of individuals can result in lower reproductive fitness due to inbreeding effects. We investigated genetic variation within and between 11 populations of the rare and endangered plant Silene chlorantha in northeastern Germany to support conservation strategies. Genetic diversity was evaluated using AFLP techniques and the results were correlated to fitness traits. Fitness evaluation in nature and in a common garden approach was conducted. Our analysis revealed population differentiation was high and within population genetic diversity was intermediate. A clear population structure was supported by a Bayesian approach, AMOVA and neighbour-joining analysis. No correlation between genetic and geographic distance was found. Our results indicate that patterns of population differentiation were mainly caused by temporal and/or spatial isolation and genetic drift. The fitness evaluation revealed that pollinator limitation and habitat quality seem, at present, to be more important to reproductive fitness than genetic diversity by itself. Populations of S. chlorantha with low genetic diversity have the potential to increase in individual number if habitat conditions improve. This was detected in a single large population in the investigation area, which was formerly affected by bottleneck effects.show moreshow less

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Metadaten
Author:Dirk Lauterbach, Michael Ristow, B. Gemeinholzer
DOI:https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1438-8677.2010.00418.x
ISSN:1435-8603 (print)
Parent Title (English):Plant biology
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell
Place of publication:Hoboken
Document Type:Article
Language:English
Year of first Publication:2011
Year of Completion:2011
Release Date:2017/03/26
Tag:AFLP; fitness; population genetic structure; population history
Volume:13
Issue:4
Pagenumber:11
First Page:667
Last Page:677
Funder:Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt (DBU); Heidehofstiftung
Organizational units:Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftliche Fakultät / Institut für Biochemie und Biologie
Peer Review:Referiert