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Genetic diversity and structure of the Australian flora

Broadhurst, L, Breed, M, Lowe, A, Bragg, J, Catullo, R, Coates, D, Encinas-Viso, F, Gellie, N, James, E, Krauss, S, Potts, B ORCID: 0000-0001-6244-289X, Rossetto, M, Shepherd, M and Byrne, M 2017 , 'Genetic diversity and structure of the Australian flora' , Diversity and Distributions, vol. 23, no. 1 , pp. 41-52 , doi: 10.1111/ddi.12505.

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Abstract

AimTo investigate the relationships between species attributes and genetic parameters in Australian plant species and to determine the associations in relation to predictions from population theory and previous global analyses.LocationContinent of Australia.MethodsWe assembled a dataset of all known population genetic analyses of Australian plants based on neutral markers and catalogued them according to key species attributes, including range, abundance, range disjunction, biome and growth form; and genetic parameters, mean number of alleles per locus, observed and expected heterozygosity and population differentiation. We determined relationships between species attributes and genetic parameters using a maximum-likelihood, multimodel inference approach.ResultsWe found many associations that were consistent with predictions. Species attributes with greatest effect on genetic diversity were range size, growth form, abundance and biome. The most important attributes influencing genetic differentiation were range disjunction and abundance. We found unexpected results in the effects of biome and growth form on genetic diversity, with greater diversity in the eastern biome of Australia, and lower diversity in shrubs compared to trees.Main conclusionsOur analysis of genetic diversity of Australian plants showed associations consistent with predictions based on population genetics theory, with strong effects of range size, abundance and growth form. We identified a striking effect of range disjunction on population genetic differentiation, an effect that has received little attention in the literature. We also found some notable differences to global predictions, which were most likely explained by confounding effects across variables. This highlights that caution is needed when extrapolating trends from global analyses to regional floras. Identifying associations between species attributes and patterns of genetic diversity enables broadscale predictions to facilitate the inclusion of genetic considerations into conservation decision-making.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Broadhurst, L and Breed, M and Lowe, A and Bragg, J and Catullo, R and Coates, D and Encinas-Viso, F and Gellie, N and James, E and Krauss, S and Potts, B and Rossetto, M and Shepherd, M and Byrne, M
Keywords: biome, conservation, disjunction, genetic differentiation, genetic diversity, life history
Journal or Publication Title: Diversity and Distributions
Publisher: Blackwell Publishing Ltd
ISSN: 1366-9516
DOI / ID Number: 10.1111/ddi.12505
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

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