, Volume 7, Issue 3, pp 399-413

Assessment of genetic diversity of native species in Izu Islands for a discriminate choice of source populations: Implications for revegetation of volcanically devastated sites

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In using native species for revegetation, it is necessary choose source populations carefully to reduce the risk of planting suboptimal germplasm. To make preliminary recommendations for native species to use in the revegetation of a volcanically devastated area on Miyake Is., Japan, we investigated the genetic variation of Alnus sieboldiana, Miscanthus sinensis ssp. condensatus, and Polygonum cuspidatum var. terminalis in the Izu Islands and on the Izu Peninsula based on chloroplast DNA (cpDNA) sequence variations and amplified fragment length polymorphisms (AFLPs). The amount and pattern of differentiation differ between organelle and nuclear markers, suggesting the necessity of evaluation based on both types of markers. Within-population diversity did not vary among populations, suggesting that it does not need to be considered in the choice of a source population. The pattern and degree of differentiation varied among species, and geographical proximity did not necessarily accord with genetic similarity, suggesting that the site of an appropriate source population varies among species and should be determined empirically rather than by assuming that close proximity predicts genetic similarity. The Izu Peninsula populations deviated from the island populations in all species. Comparison of cpDNA sequences with those of related species indicates the possibility of hybridization with related species on the Izu Peninsula, suggesting that seeds collected from populations where related species live sympatrically should not be used for revegetation. These findings indicate the need to assess the genetic diversity empirically by using organelle and nuclear markers to avoid unintended consequences of genetic mixing associated with revegetation.