Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Evolution. 2005 May;59(5):979-90.

Historical and contemporary mating patterns in remnant populations of the forest tree Fraxinus excelsior L.

Author information

  • 1Institute of Evolutionary Biology, Ashworth Laboratories, School of Biological Sciences, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, EH9 3JT, United Kingdom.


Genetic variation at microsatellite markers was used to quantify genetic structure and mating behavior in a severely fragmented population of the wind-pollinated, wind-dispersed temperate tree Fraxinus excelsior in a deforested catchment in Scotland. Remnants maintain high levels of genetic diversity, comparable with those reported for continuous populations in southeastern Europe, and show low interpopulation differentiation (E = 0.080), indicating that historical gene exchange has not been limited (Nm = 3.48). We estimated from seeds collected from all trees producing fruits in three of five remnants that F. excelsior is predominantly outcrossing (t(m) = 0.971 +/- 0.028). Use of a neighborhood model approach to describe the relative contribution of local and long-distance pollen dispersal indicates that pollen gene flow into each of the three remnants is extensive (46-95%) and pollen dispersal has two components. The first is very localized and restricted to tens of meters around the mother trees. The second is a long-distance component with dispersal occurring over several kilometers. Effective dispersal distances, accounting for the distance and directionality to mother trees of sampled pollen donors, average 328 m and are greater than values reported for a continuous population. These results suggest that the opening of the landscape facilitates airborne pollen movement and may alleviate the expected detrimental genetic effects of fragmentation.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

LinkOut - more resources

Full Text Sources

Other Literature Sources

PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Loading ...
    Support Center