Oecologia

, Volume 103, Issue 1, pp 49–54

Genetic structure in a population of a tropical tree Ocotea tenera (Lauraceae): influence of avian seed dispersal

  • J. Phil Gibson
  • Nathaniel T. Wheelwright
Original Paper

Abstract

We studied the influence of avian seed dispersal on the structuring of genetic diversity in a population of a tropical tree, Ocotea tenera (Lauraceae). The seeds of O. tenera are principally dispersed by four, relatively specialized, fruit-eating bird species (emerald toucanets, keel-billed toucans, resplendent quetzals, and three-wattled bellbirds). We found high genetic diversity within the overall population and significant, nonrandom structuring of that diversity among subpopulations. Subpopulations contained members of several sibling groups, and most saplings within subpopulations were shown not to be the progeny of adult trees within the same subpopulation. Our data indicate that O. tenera subpopulations are founded with several seeds from few maternal families, and that this mode of establishment is an important determinant of population genetic architecture.

Key words

Colonization Frugivory Genetic differentiation Ocotea Seed dispersal 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Gibson JP (1995) Evolutionary ecology of reproduction in Ocotea tenera (Lauraceae), a gynodioecious tropical tree. Ph.D. Dissertation. University of Colorado, BoulderGoogle Scholar
  2. Hamrick JL, Godt MJ (1990) Allozyme diversity in plant species. In: Brown ADH, Clegg MT, Kahler AL, Weir BS (eds) Plant population genetics, breeding, and genetic resources. Sinauer, Sunderland, pp 43–63Google Scholar
  3. Hamrick JL, Loveless MD (1986) Isozyme variation in tropical trees: procedures and preliminary results. Biotropica 18: 201–207Google Scholar
  4. Hamrick JL, Loveless MD (1988) The genetic structure of tropical tree populations: associations with reproductive biology. In: Bock IH, Linhart YB (eds) The evolutionary ecology of plants. Westview, Boulder, pp 129–146Google Scholar
  5. Hamrick JL, Godt MJ, Sherman-Broyles SL (1992) Factors influencing levels of genetic diversity in woody plant species. New For 6:95–124Google Scholar
  6. Hamrick JL, Murawski DA, Nason JD (1993) The influence of seed dispersal mechanisms on the genetic structure of tropical tree populations. Vegetatio 107/108:281–297Google Scholar
  7. Hartl DL, Clark AG (1989) Principles of population genetics, 2nd edn. Sinauer, SunderlandGoogle Scholar
  8. Horvitz CC, Le Corff J (1993) Spatial scale and dispersion patterns of ant- and bird-dispersed herbs in two tropical lowland forests. Vegetatio 107/108:351–362Google Scholar
  9. Howe HF (1989) Scatter- and clump-dispersal and seedling demography: hypotheses and implications. Oecologia 79:417–426Google Scholar
  10. Howe HF, Estabrook GF (1977) On intraspecific competition for dispersal agents in tropical trees. Am Nat 111:817–791Google Scholar
  11. Howe HF, Smallwood J (1981) Ecology of seed dispersal. Annu Rev Ecol Syst 13:201–228Google Scholar
  12. Li CC, Horvitz DG (1953) Some methods of estimating the inbreeding coefficient. Am J Hum Genet 5:107–117Google Scholar
  13. Linhart YB, Tomback DF (1985) Seed dispersal by nutcrackers causes multi-trunk growth form in pines. Oecologia 67:107–110Google Scholar
  14. Loveless MD (1992) Isozyme variation in tropical trees: patterns of genetic organization. New For 6:67–94Google Scholar
  15. Martin TE (1985) Resource selection by tropical frugivorous birds: integrating multiple interactions. Oecologia 66:563–573Google Scholar
  16. Mitton JB, Linhart YB, Sturgeon KB, Hamrick JL (1979) Allozyme polymorphism detected in mature needle tissue of ponderosa pine. J Hered 70:86–89Google Scholar
  17. Nei M (1972) Genetic distance between populations. Am Nat 106:283–292Google Scholar
  18. Nei M (1977) F-statistics and analysis of gene diversity in subdivided populations. Ann Hum Genet 41:225–233Google Scholar
  19. Queller DC, Goodnight KF (1989) Estimating relatedness using genetic markers. Evolution 43:258–275Google Scholar
  20. Slatkin M, Barton NH (1989) A comparison of three indirect methods for estimating average levels of gene flow. Evolution 43:1349–1368Google Scholar
  21. Soltis DE, Haufler CH, Darrow DC, Gastony GJ (1983) Starch gel electrophoresis of ferns: a compilation of crushing buffers, gel and electrode buffers, and staining schedules. Am Fern J 73: 373–380Google Scholar
  22. Tomback DF, Linhart YB (1990) The evolution of bird-dispersed pines. Evol Ecol 4:185–219Google Scholar
  23. Wheelwright NT (1986) A seven-year study of individual variation in fruit production in tropical bird-dispersed tree species in the family Lauraceae. In: Estrada A, Fleming TH (eds) Frugivores and seed dispersal. Junk, Dordrecht, pp 19–35Google Scholar
  24. Wheelwright NT (1988) Four constraints on coevolution between fruit-eating birds and fruiting plants a tropical case history. Proceedings of the 19th International Ornithology Congress, Ottawa, pp 827–845Google Scholar
  25. Wheelwright NT (1991) How long do fruit-eating birds stay in the plants where they feed? Biotropica 23:29–40Google Scholar
  26. Wheelwright NT, Bruneau A (1992) Population sex ratios and spatial distribution of Ocotea tenera (Lauraccae) trees in a tropical forest. J Ecol 80:425–432Google Scholar
  27. Willson MF (1993) Dispersal mode, seed shadows, and colonization patterns. Vegetatio 107/108:261–280Google Scholar
  28. Workman PL, Niswander JD (1970) Population studies on southwestern Indian tribes. II. Local genetic differentiation in the Papago. Am J Hum Genet 22:24–49Google Scholar
  29. Wright S (1965) The interpretation of population genetic structure by F-statistics with special regard to systems of mating. Evolution 19:395–420Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Phil Gibson
    • 1
  • Nathaniel T. Wheelwright
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of EPO BiologyUniversity of ColoradoBoulderUSA
  2. 2.Department of BiologyBowdoin CollegeBrunswickUSA

Personalised recommendations