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Comparison of contemporary mating patterns in continuous and fragmented Eucalyptus globulus native forests


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Mimura, M, Barbour, RC, Potts, BM, Vaillancourt, RE and Watanabe, KN 2009 , 'Comparison of contemporary mating patterns in continuous and fragmented Eucalyptus globulus native forests' , Molecular Ecology, vol. 18 , pp. 4180-4192 , doi: 10.1111/j.1365-294X.2009.04350.x.

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While habitat fragmentation is a central issue in forest conservation studies in the face of
broad-scale anthropogenic changes to the environment, its effects on contemporary
mating patterns remain controversial. This is partly because of the inherent variation in
mating patterns which may exist within species and the fact that few studies have
replication at the landscape level. To study the effect of forest fragmentation on
contemporary mating patterns, including effective pollen dispersal, we compared four
native populations of the Australian forest tree, Eucalyptus globulus. We used six
microsatellite markers to genotype 1289 open-pollinated offspring from paired fragmented
and continuous populations on the island of Tasmania and in Victoria on
mainland Australia. The mating patterns in the two continuous populations were similar,
despite large differences in population density. In contrast, the two fragmented
populations were variable and idiosyncratic in their mating patterns, particularly in
their pollen dispersal kernels. The continuous populations showed relatively high
outcrossing rates (86–89%) and low correlated paternity (0.03–0.06) compared with the
fragmented populations (65–79% and 0.12–0.20 respectively). A greater proportion of
trees contributed to reproduction in the fragmented (de ⁄ d ‡ 0.5) compared with the
continuous populations (de ⁄ d = 0.03–0.04). Despite significant inbreeding in the offspring
of the fragmented populations, there was little evidence of loss of genetic
diversity. It is argued that enhanced medium- and long-distance dispersal in fragmented
landscapes may act to partly buffer the remnant populations from the negative effects of
inbreeding and drift.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Mimura, M and Barbour, RC and Potts, BM and Vaillancourt, RE and Watanabe, KN
Keywords: effective density, eucalypt, forest remnants, KINDIST, mating patterns, pollen dispersal
Journal or Publication Title: Molecular Ecology
ISSN: 0962-1083
DOI / ID Number: 10.1111/j.1365-294X.2009.04350.x
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