Article

Plant Systematics and Evolution

, Volume 196, Issue 1, pp 19-30

First online:

The geographical distribution of genetic variation of silver fir (Abies alba, Pinaceae) in relation to its migration history

  • M. KonnertAffiliated withBayerische Landesanstalt für forstliche Saat- und Pflanzenzucht, Forstamtsplatz
  • , F. BergmannAffiliated withAbteilung für Forstgenetik und Forstpflanzenzüchtung, Universität Göttingen

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Abstract

Silver fir presently occurs in many mountainous regions of eastern, western, southern and Central Europe. In order to elucidate the biogeographic history of fir populations in different European areas, the distribution of area-specific alleles at eight enzyme loci and the allele frequency distributions at seven polymorphic enzyme loci were investigated in seed or bud samples from 48 provenances comprising 98 single stands. Due to great genetic divergence among different populations located near the ancient glacial retreats, it was concluded that silver fir survived in five refugia during the last glaciation but migrated from only three refugia to its present natural range. The occurrence of unique alleles in particular fir areas indicated its migratory routes to the north and the existence of a few introgression zones where silver fir from different refugia has met during its expansion.

Key words

Gymnosperms Pinaceae Abies alba Isozyme gene markers genetic divergence biogeography glacial refugia migratory routes