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Effects of flowering tree density on the mating system and gene flow in Shorea leprosula (Dipterocarpaceae) in Peninsular Malaysia

Fukue, Y.; Kado, T.; Lee, S.L.; Ng, K.K.S.; Muhammad, N.; Tsumura, Y.

Journal of Plant Research 120(3): 413-420

2007


ISSN/ISBN: 0918-9440
PMID: 17387430
DOI: 10.1007/s10265-007-0078-z
Accession: 013696705

Pristine tropical rainforests in Southeast Asia have rich species diversity and are important habitats for many plant species. However, the extent of these forests has declined in recent decades and they have become fragmented due to human activities. These developments may reduce the genetic diversity of species within them and, consequently, the species' ability to adapt to environmental changes. Our objective in the study presented here was to clarify the effect of tree density on the genetic diversity and gene flow patterns of Shorea leprosula Miq. populations in Peninsular Malaysia. For this purpose, we related genetic diversity and pollen flow parameters of seedling populations in study plots to the density of mature trees in their vicinity. The results show that gene diversity and allelic richness were not significantly correlated to the mature tree density. However, the number of rare alleles among the seedlings and the selfing rates of the mother trees were negatively correlated with the density of the adult trees. Furthermore, in a population with high mature tree density pollination distances were frequently <200 m, but in populations with low adult tree density the distances were longer. These findings suggest that the density of flowering trees affects selfing rates, gene flow and, thus, the genetic diversity of S. leprosula populations. We also found an individual S. leprosula tree with a unique reproductive system, probably apomictic, mating system.

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