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Impact of clonal growth on effective population size in Hymenoxys herbacea (Asteraceae).


By influencing the proliferation of different genotypes, clonal growth can affect the maintenance of genetic variability and magnitude of genetic drift within plant populations. However, estimates of effective population size rarely incorporate the contribution of both asexual and sexual reproduction. We estimated effective size (Ne) for two populations of the clonal, self-incompatible plant, Hymenoxys herbacea, using a stage-structured demographic model for organisms with asexual and sexual recruitment and then examined the impact of reproductive strategy using an elasticity analysis. Plant rosettes monitored in two successive years had high survival rates in both populations (mean 0.94). The mean number of sexually derived recruits per initial ramet was 0.041 (SE 0.039), whereas the mean number of clonal recruits was 0.61 (SE 0.90). Effective size was 1642 and 5769 in the two populations and the Ne/N ratio averaged 0.34, comparable to values for other clonal species. Elasticity analysis indicated that increases in both clonal and sexual recruitment cause an increase in Ne while increasing the variance reduced Ne. However, Ne was more sensitive to changes in the mean and variance of asexual recruitment than sexual recruitment. These results highlight the importance of considering asexual modes of reproduction when examining the role of genetic stochasticity in populations.


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    Heredity 94:5 2005 May pg 526-32


    Clone Cells
    Crosses, Genetic
    Genetic Variation
    Genetics, Population
    Models, Genetic
    Reproduction, Asexual

    Pub Type(s)

    Journal Article
    Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't



    PubMed ID