, Volume 5, Issue 4, pp 561-570

Spatial Distribution of Genetic Variation in a Natural Beech Stand (Fagus sylvatica L.) Based on Microsatellite Markers

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The spatial distribution of alleles is described in a naturally regenerated, isolated pure beech (Fagus sylvaticaL.) stand consisting of 99 adult trees. After testing nine microsatellite loci originally developed for F. crenata, each tree was genotyped at four well-scorable microsatellite loci. Specific primers were developed for one locus of F. sylvaticaL. For the characterization of spatial genetic structures, two different statistics were used. One method is based on the mean genetic distance between trees in different spatial distance classes, and the other one is Moran's index I. The results show the same tendency of a strong family structure in the distance classes up to 30m in comparison with that expected for a spatially non-systematic distribution of genotypes. In general, microsatellites are more useful to detect spatial genetic structures than allozymes. Spatial genetic structures are influenced by unpredictable factors such as wind direction at anthesis and can therefore vary from year to year. We recommend that seed collections should cover large areas in order to prevent a preponderance of few families and a reduction of the adaptive potential of the next generation.