Clonal Growth and Fine-Scale Genetic Structure in Tanoak (Notholithocarpus densiflorus: Fagaceae).

Author , , ,
Date 2012
Publication Journal of Heredity
Key Words
AbstractThe combination of sprouting and reproduction by seed can have important consequences on fine-scale spatial distribution of genetic structure (SGS). SGS is an important consideration for species’ restoration because it determines the minimum distance among seed trees to maximize genetic diversity while not prejudicing locally adapted genotypes. Local environmental conditions can be expected to influence levels of clonal spread and SGS, particularly in the case of disturbance regimes such as fire. Here, we characterize fine-scale genetic structure and clonal spread in tanoak from drier upland sites and more mesic lowland woodlands. Clonal spread was a significant mode of stand development, but spread was limited on average to about 5–6 m. Gene dispersal was decomposed into clonal and sexual components. The latter varied according to whether it was estimated from all ramets with the clonal component removed or for a single ramet per genet. We used the difference in these 2 estimates of gene dispersal as a measure of the effect of clonality on effective population size in this species. Although upland sites had a greater number of ramets per genet, most of the other indices computed were not significantly different. However, they tended to show greater heterozygote excess and shorter gene dispersal distances than the lowland sites. The average distance among inferred sibships on upland sites was approximately at the scale of maximum clonal range. This was not the case on lowland sites, where sibs were more dispersed. We recommend minimum distances among seed trees to avoid selecting clones and to maximize genetic diversity for restoration.
Full Citation Dodd, R.S.; Mayer, W.; Nettel, A.; and Afzal-Rafii, Z. 2012. Clonal Growth and Fine-Scale Genetic Structure in Tanoak (Notholithocarpus densiflorus: Fagaceae). Journal of Heredity. doi:10.1093/jhered/ess080.