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Cirsium species show disparity in patterns of genetic variation at their range-edge, despite similar patterns of reproduction and isolation

By A.S. Jump, I. Woodward and T. Burke


Genetic variation was assessed across the UK geographical range of Cirsium acaule and Cirsium heterophyllum. A decline in genetic diversity and increase in population divergence approaching the range edge of these species was predicted based on parallel declines in population density and seed production reported seperately. Patterns were compared with UK populations of the widespread Cirsium arvense.Populations were sampled along a latitudinal transect in the UK and genetic variation\ud assessed using microsatellite markers. Cirsium acaule\ud shows strong isolation by distance, a significant decline in diversity and an increase in divergence among range-edge populations. Geographical structure is also evident in\ud C. arvense, whereas no such patterns are seen in C.heterophyllum. There is a major disparity between patterns of genetic variation in C. acaule and\ud C. heterophyllum despite very similar patterns in seed production and population isolation in these species. This suggests it may be misleading to make assumptions\ud about the geographical structure of genetic variation within species based solely on the present-day reproduction and distribution of populations

Year: 2003
OAI identifier: oai:eprints.whiterose.ac.uk:372

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