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Genetic diversity and mating system in a tropical tree, Carapa guianensis (Meliaceae)



Genetic diversity and mating system in a tropical tree, Carapa guianensis (Meliaceae)



American Journal of Botany 81(9): 1104-1111



Carapa guianensis Aublet. (Meliaceae) is an abundant, canopy tree species often exported as fine wood products. The populations in the Atlantic coastal plain of Costa Rica have undergone a wide variety of human-induced changes in distribution and abundance, including isolation due to deforestation. Using protein electrophoretic analysis of seeds, we investigated the genetic variability and population differentiation of nine populations and the outcrossing rate in two populations that differed in density by a factor of 50%. Average polymorphism (35%) and heterozygosity (0.12) across populations were relatively low in comparison with other tropical tree species. Only 4.6% of the total genetic variability could be attributed to population differentiation even though populations were separated by as much as 70 km. However, genetic differentiation did increase with distance between pairs of compared populations. There were no apparent differences in genetic variation between logged and unlogged forests. The outcrossing rate for each population was not significantly different from 1.0, but there was evidence of nonrandom mating in the lower density population. High levels of gene flow are probably maintained by seed dispersal as seeds travel well throughout flooded forests and rivers. High population density and synchronous flowering also contribute to high outcrossing rates. These genetic characteristics suggest that Carapa guianensis is a good candidate for natural forest management where it occurs at high density. However, current management practices need to account for the rapid rate of deforestation occurring around managed natural forest sites that will result in the elimination of intervening populations. Reprinted by permission of the publisher. .

Accession: 002390726

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DOI: 10.2307/2445472

Download PDF Full Text: Genetic diversity and mating system in a tropical tree, Carapa guianensis (Meliaceae)



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