Evolutionary Ecology

, Volume 18, Issue 5, pp 585–599

Clonal and genetic structure of two Mexican oaks: Quercus eduardii and Quercus potosina (Fagaceae)


  • Cecilia Alfonso-Corrado
    • Instituto de Ecología., Departamento de Ecología FuncionalUNAM.
  • Rocío Esteban-Jiménez
    • Instituto de Ecología., Departamento de Ecología FuncionalUNAM.
  • Ricardo Clark-Tapia
    • Instituto de Ecología., Departamento de Ecología de la Biodiversidad. Estación Regional del Noroeste.UNAM.
  • Daniel Piñero
    • Instituto de Ecología., Departamento de Ecología EvolutivaUNAM
  • Jorge E. Campos
    • Facultad de Estudios Superiores Iztacala, Unidad de Biotecnología y Prototipos.UNAM
    • Instituto de Ecología., Departamento de Ecología FuncionalUNAM.
Research Article

DOI: 10.1007/s10682-004-5145-5

Cite this article as:
Alfonso-Corrado, C., Esteban-Jiménez, R., Clark-Tapia, R. et al. Evol Ecol (2004) 18: 585. doi:10.1007/s10682-004-5145-5


Quercus eduardii and Q. potosina are dominant oak species in Sierra Fría, Aguascalientes, Mexico. These species have been exploited for multiple purposes since the 16th century. Both species produce clonal offspring through root suckering and acorns through sexual reproduction. To understand clonality for the implementation of the most adequate actions for the conservation of these species, we addressed the following questions: (a) what is the spatial clonal structure of both species? (b) How much clonal and genetic diversity is maintained in these species? Random Amplified Polymorphic DNAs (RAPDs) were used as molecular markers for these analyses. Genets of both species have few ramets and these grow close the parent tree. Autocorrelation analyses at the ramet level showed an aggregated distribution at short distances and a random spatial distribution at larger distances. Also, at the genet level the autocorrelation analyses showed a random distribution. Clonal diversity was high in both species (Q. eduardii: D=0.963, G/N=0.60; Q. potosina: D=0.985, G/N=0.65). Genetic diversity was high within populations (Q. eduardii: He=0.33±0.11; Q. potosina: He=0.35±0.11). Low levels of genetic differentiation among populations were observed (Q. eduardii ϕst=0.19, P < 0.002; Q. potosina ϕst=0.13, P < 0.002). Both species maintain high levels of clonal and genetic diversity, probably due to successful sexual reproduction, which allows gene flow among populations. Conservation and/or reforestation programs must include seed collections and germplasm banks. Due to the small genet size and the high clonal diversity of these species, seeds can be collected in any place in Sierra Fría, Aguascalientes.


clonal propagationgenetic variationQuercussexual reproduction
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© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2004