Biodiversity & Conservation

, Volume 3, Issue 6, pp 512-523

First online:

Genetic diversity in a seed production population vs. natural populations of Sitka Spruce

  • K. ChaisurisriAffiliated withFaculty of Forestry, University of British Columbia
  • , Y. A. El-KassabyAffiliated withFacific Forest Products Ltd., Saanich Forestry Centre

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access

Isozyme analysis was applied to estimate the level of variation and the genetic structure of a seed-production population (i.e., seed orchard) and 10 range-wide natural populations of Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis (Bong.) Carr.). Gene diversity and heterozygosity estimates were comparatively high in both the seed orchard and the natural populations studied. The seed orchard population showed a significantly higher number of alleles per locus and percentage of polymorphic loci. Though not significant, mean heterozygosity of the seed orchard was higher than that observed for all natural populations. Genetic distance analysis indicated that the seed-orchard population was genetically similar to three natural populations from which the parent trees were selected. Parent trees sampling breadth has been identified as the major cause for the observed increased level. The impact of recurrent selection and seed orchard biology and management on maintaining the genetic diversity is discussed.


domestication genetic diversity seed orchard natural populations Sitka spruce