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Spatial genetic structure of Simarouba amara Aubl. (Simaroubaceae), a dioecious, animal-dispersed Neotropical tree, on Barro Colorado Island, Panama

By Britta D. Hardesty, Christopher W. Dick, Antoine Kremer, Stephen Hubbell and Eldredge Bermingham


Simarouba amara (Simaroubaceae) is a vertebrate-dispersed, insect-pollinated Neotropical tree found in lowland moist forest from upper Mesoamerica to the Amazon basin. We assessed the spatial genetic structure of S. amara within the 50-ha Forest Dynamics Plot on Barro Colorado Island in the Republic of Panama. A total of 300 individuals were genotyped using five microsatellite loci, representing 100 individuals with a dbhX10 cm, 100 individuals of 1???10cmdbh, and 100 individuals of o1 cm dbh. The 200 individuals in the two larger size classes were also genotyped with 155 AFLP loci. Spatial autocorrelation analysis using Moran???s Index detected significant genotypic association at the smallest distance classes for 1???10 cm dbh (0???20 m) and 410 cm dbh (0???40 m) size categories. Significant spatial autocorrelations were detected over larger scales (0???140 m) in o1 cm dbh individuals. The relatively weak genetic structure of S. amara, in comparison to other recent studies, may be explained by pollen and seed dispersal over the 50 ha plot, overlapping seed shadows, and post recruitment mortality.

Topics: Spatial Genetic Structure, Tropical trees
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
Year: 2005
DOI identifier: 10.1038/sj.hdy.6800714
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