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Strong spatial genetic structure reduces reproductive success in the critically endangered plant genus Pseudomisopates.

Abstract

Clonal growth can be a double-edged sword for endangered species, because the short-term insurance against extinction may incur a longer-term hazard of creating small inbred populations with low fecundity. In the present study, we quantify the advantages and disadvantages of clonal growth regarding the fitness of the central Iberian monotypic endangered genus Pseudomisopates. Preliminary studies showed that the species is self-incompatible and exhibits extensive clonal growth with plants flowering profusely. However, seeds at many sites seemed to be unviable, and no seedlings have been observed in the field. A fully replicated nested sampling design (n = 100) was conducted to explore genetic (using seven SSR loci) and environmental factors potentially affecting seed viability, such as: 1) clonal and genetic diversity, 2) spatial genetic structure, and 3) environmental factors (shrub cover and grazing). Generalized Linear Mixed Models were fitted relating genetic and environmental variables to reproductive variables (seed viability and flower display). Our results indicate that the relatively low genotypic diversity of the population (PD = 0.23), as quantified by SSRs, and the strong spatial genetic structure observed are congruent with intense clonal growth. This clonal growth is enhanced by unfavorable environmental conditions, such as canopy closure and grazing. Under these circumstances, both flower display and mate availability decrease, thus hindering sexual reproduction. Indeed, a mixed reproductive system (clonal and sexual) to escape environmental stochasticity is crucial for the survival of Pseudomisopates, a species inhabiting a disturbance-prone ecosystem.

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  • Authors

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    Source

    The Journal of heredity 104:5 pg 692-703

    MeSH

    DNA, Plant
    Endangered Species
    Genetic Fitness
    Genetic Structures
    Genetic Variation
    Genetics, Population
    Genotype
    Plantago
    Reproduction
    Seeds

    Pub Type(s)

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

    Language

    eng

    PubMed ID

    23885091

    Citation

    TY - JOUR T1 - Strong spatial genetic structure reduces reproductive success in the critically endangered plant genus Pseudomisopates. AU - Amat,María E, AU - Silvertown,Jonathan, AU - Vargas,Pablo, Y1 - 2013/07/24/ PY - 2013/7/24/aheadofprint PY - 2013/7/26/entrez PY - 2013/7/26/pubmed PY - 2014/4/9/medline KW - Mediterranean KW - Pseudomisopates rivas-martinezii KW - SSR KW - canopy closure KW - clonality KW - fitness KW - herbivory SP - 692 EP - 703 JF - The Journal of heredity JO - J. Hered. VL - 104 IS - 5 N2 - Clonal growth can be a double-edged sword for endangered species, because the short-term insurance against extinction may incur a longer-term hazard of creating small inbred populations with low fecundity. In the present study, we quantify the advantages and disadvantages of clonal growth regarding the fitness of the central Iberian monotypic endangered genus Pseudomisopates. Preliminary studies showed that the species is self-incompatible and exhibits extensive clonal growth with plants flowering profusely. However, seeds at many sites seemed to be unviable, and no seedlings have been observed in the field. A fully replicated nested sampling design (n = 100) was conducted to explore genetic (using seven SSR loci) and environmental factors potentially affecting seed viability, such as: 1) clonal and genetic diversity, 2) spatial genetic structure, and 3) environmental factors (shrub cover and grazing). Generalized Linear Mixed Models were fitted relating genetic and environmental variables to reproductive variables (seed viability and flower display). Our results indicate that the relatively low genotypic diversity of the population (PD = 0.23), as quantified by SSRs, and the strong spatial genetic structure observed are congruent with intense clonal growth. This clonal growth is enhanced by unfavorable environmental conditions, such as canopy closure and grazing. Under these circumstances, both flower display and mate availability decrease, thus hindering sexual reproduction. Indeed, a mixed reproductive system (clonal and sexual) to escape environmental stochasticity is crucial for the survival of Pseudomisopates, a species inhabiting a disturbance-prone ecosystem. SN - 1465-7333 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/23885091/Strong_spatial_genetic_structure_reduces_reproductive_success_in_the_critically_endangered_plant_genus_Pseudomisopates_ L2 - http://jhered.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/pmidlookup?view=long&pmid=23885091 ER -