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Title: Life on the edge – High levels of genetic diversity in a cliff population of 'Bertya ingramii' are attributed to 'B. rosmarinifolia' (Euphorbiaceae)
Contributor(s): Fatemi, Mohammad  (author)orcid ; Gross, Caroline L  (author)orcid 
Publication Date: 2009
DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2009.02.014
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Abstract: Wind-facilitated migration of new genotypes into small, geographically disjunct populations should buffer them against local extinction. 'Bertya ingramii', a monoecious, wind-pollinated shrub, is restricted to three populations in a 4 km² area in eastern Australia. Populations are separated by deeply dissected gorges where it is unlikely that seeds are exchanged but where wind movement may facilitate pollen dispersal. Using 156 highly polymorphic ISSR markers, we found moderate genetic variation within and among populations of 'B. ingramii' and less genetic diversity in a nearby and small population of the widespread 'Bertya rosmarinifolia'. The smallest population of 'B. ingramii' (<30 plants) had the highest genetic variation (65% polymorphic markers, Shannon Information Index = 0.30). AMOVA and a Bayesian analysis showed that molecular variance was equally distributed within and among populations suggesting that gene flow is as limited within as in among populations. Genetic distances between populations were only weakly explained by their relative geographic distances (mantel test, R² = 0.21, P = 0.001) but the distribution of private bands, the departure from Hardy–Weinberg equilibrium, and a UPGMA tree showed that the smallest population of 'B. ingramii' was generally more similar to an upstream population of 'B. rosmarinifolia'. Thirty-eight percent of bands in this small population of 'B. ingramii' were exclusively shared with 'B. rosmarinifolia'. This covert hybridisation may have been an ancient event but may be responsible for contemporary declines in germination and establishment in 'B. ingramii'. The conservation implications are amplified by the endangered status of 'B. ingramii'.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Biological Conservation, 142(7), p. 1461-1468
Publisher: Elsevier Science
Place of Publication: New York, USA
ISSN: 0006-3207
Field of Research (FOR): 050202 Conservation and Biodiversity
050211 Wildlife and Habitat Management
060207 Population Ecology
Socio-Economic Outcome Codes: 961306 Remnant Vegetation and Protected Conservation Areas in Forest and Woodlands Environments
960906 Forest and Woodlands Land Management
960810 Mountain and High Country Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
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School of Environmental and Rural Science

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