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Genetic diversity, spatial genetic structure, mating system and gene flow in a population of Copaifera langsdorffii Desf. in the savanna

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Roberto Tarazi
Total Authors: 1
Document type: Doctoral Thesis
Press: Piracicaba.
Institution: Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Escola Superior de Agricultura Luiz de Queiroz (ESALA/BC)
Defense date:
Examining board members:
Roland Vencovsky; Paulo Yoshio Kageyama; Mario Luiz Teixeira de Moraes; Alexandre Magno Sebbenn; Maria Imaculada Zucchi
Advisor: Roland Vencovsky

Aiming to contribute to effective strategies for conservation and management of Savanna cerrado tree species, whose landscape is highly fragmented, this study investigated, through eight microsatellite nuclear loci, the genetic diversity, the intrapopulation spatial genetic structure, the mating system and gene flow in a population of Copaifera langsdorffii Desf located in the Ecological Station of Assis (ESA), west of São Paulo State. Copaifera langsdorffii is hermaphroditic, pollinated by insects and its seed dispersal is carried out by gravity and birds; it has economic potential and forest restoration use, while it has a wide distribution in the cerrado. In this study, the following sampling design was adopted: in a plot of 10.24 ha, established within the ESA all 57 adult trees were mapped, sampled and genotyped. To study seed dispersal in the center of the plot a subplot of 1.44 ha was established, where all 147 young trees also were mapped, sampled and genotyped. To compare the genetic diversity, inbreeding and the mating system of trees from the plot and the edge of the remnant, open-pollinated seed arrays were collected from 17 seed-trees in the plot (340 seeds) and 11 seed-trees at the edge (220 seeds). The results showed that adults had a higher proportion of heterozygosity and lower inbreeding levels than that observed in young trees and seeds, suggesting that selective mechanisms are favoring heterozygous individuals. The population of young trees reveled a weak, but significant spatial genetic structure up to 102 m of distance, indicating a moderate seed dispersal, probably due to bird dispersal. In agreement, the analysis of maternity in the young trees showed a high frequency dispersion over 100 m with a pattern tending to normality, suggesting the escape phenomenon according to Janzen-Connell hypothesis. A high rate of immigration of seeds (15%) and pollen (64%) in the plot was also detected, suggesting intense movement of genes in the population. Furthermore, the pollen was dispersed with high frequency at relatively short distances ( 65% up to 150 m), but it also achieved long distances within the plot (300 m). According to the estimate of the outcrossing rate, the population had a mixed mating system, with predominance of outcrosses. In the comparison of seed-trees from the plot with the ones on the edge, higher rate of selfing and pollen heterogeneity were detected on the edge, showing a clear edge effect on the dry forest cerradão. Estimates of the effective size of adults in the plot suggests that ESA has a minimum viable area for in situ conservation. However, the maintenance of genetic connectivity (gene flow) between this fragment and others in the neighborhood, is essential to assure the evolutionary potential of this species in the long-term. Aiming seed collection in the EEA for ex situ conservation and forest restoration strategies, the results indicate that the collection should be done preferably within the fragment, in seed-trees at least 300 m distant from each other and from at least 19 seed-trees to retain an effective size of about 50. (AU)

FAPESP's process: 06/04490-9 - Genetic diversity, spatial genetic structure, mating system and gene flow in a population of Copaifera langsdorffii Desf. in the savanna
Grantee:Roberto Tarazi
Support Opportunities: Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate