Long-distance seed dispersal in a metapopulation of Banksia hookeriana inferred from a population allocation analysis of amplified fragment length polymorphism data
He, T., Krauss, S.L., Lamont, B.B., Miller, B.P. and Enright, N.J. (2004) Long-distance seed dispersal in a metapopulation of Banksia hookeriana inferred from a population allocation analysis of amplified fragment length polymorphism data. Molecular Ecology, 13 (5). pp. 1099-1109.
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There is currently a poor understanding of the nature and extent of long-distance seed dispersal, largely due to the inherent difficulty of detection. New statistical approaches and molecular markers offer the potential to accurately address this issue. A log-likelihood population allocation test (AFLPOP) was applied to a plant metapopulation to characterize interpopulation seed dispersal. Banksia hookeriana is a fire-killed shrub, restricted to sandy dune crests in fire-prone shrublands of the Eneabba sandplain, southwest Australia. Population genetic variation was assessed for 221 individuals sampled from 21 adjacent dune-crest populations of B. hookeriana using amplified fragment length polymorphism. Genetic diversity was high, with 175 of 183 (96%) amplified fragment length polymorphism markers polymorphic. Of the total genetic diversity, 8% was partitioned among populations by AMOVA and FST. There was no relationship between genetic diversity within populations and population demographic parameters such as population size and sample size. A population allocation test on these data unambiguously assigned 177 of 221 (80.1%) individuals to a single population. Of these, 171 (77.4% of total) were assigned to the population from which they were sampled and 6 (2.7% of total) were assigned to a known population other than the one from which they were sampled. A further 9 (4.1% of total) were assigned to outside the sampled metapopulation area, and 35 individuals (15.8%) could not be assigned unambiguously to any particular population. These results suggest that both the extent [15 of 221 (6.8%) individuals originating from a population other than the one in which they occur] and distance (1.6 to > 2.5 km), of seed dispersal between dune-crest populations is greater than expected from previous studies. The extent of long-distance interpopulation seed dispersal observed provides a basis for explaining the survival of populations of the fire-killed B. hookeriana in a landscape experiencing frequent fire, where local extinctions and recolonizations may be a regular occurrence.
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