, Volume 97, Issue 1, pp 55-64

First online:

Allozyme polymorphisms, outerossing rates, and hybridization of South AmericanNothofagus

  • Andrea C. PremoliAffiliated withDepartment of Environmental Population and Organismic Biology, University of Colorado

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Electrophoretically detectable genetic variation was used to describe the genetic structure of three South American species ofNothofagus: the widespreadN. betuloides andN. dombeyi, and the geographically restrictedN. nitida. Although the widespread species possess higher levels of genetic variation, the three species have more genetic variation within than among populations. These results are consistent with the theoretical expectations for woody, presumably highly outerossed species with wind-borne seeds.

Estimates of outcrossing rates from progeny arrays yielded slightly higher average t-values forN. nitida (1.158) andN. dombeyi (range 0.873–1.045) than forN. betuloide (0.878). Hierarchical analysis of population structure revealed values of FIS and FIT that were positive and significantly different from zero at most loci and for each species. The levels of inbreeding detected by F-statistics indicate some degree of self-fertilization and/or population substructuring into discrete family groups. Reduced seed vagility and regeneration of natural stands after disturbance by a few remnant individuals would probably generate the recruitment of related seedlings underneath parent trees.

The analysis of a putative hybrid population betweenN. nitida andN. betuloides indicated that individuals clearly segregated intonitida-like orbetuloides- like individuals. The reduced outcrossing rate ofbetuloides-like individuals from the hybrid site (t=0.585) is interpreted in concert with low pollen availability and the increased probability of selfing and/or hybridization inNothofagus.

Key words

genetic structure hybridization mating system Nothofagus