Plant Systematics and Evolution

, Volume 287, Issue 3–4, pp 99–111 | Cite as

Population genetic structure of wild daffodils (Narcissus pseudonarcissus L.) at different spatial scales

  • Guy Colling
  • Pascal Hemmer
  • Aurore Bonniot
  • Sylvie Hermant
  • Diethart Matthies
Original Article


We studied the population genetic and clonal structure of the endangered long-lived perennial plant Narcissus pseudonarcissus using random amplified polymorphic markers. Estimates for mean gene diversity within 15 populations of N. pseudonarcissus of three neighbouring geographical regions were high in comparison to other long-lived perennials (HeN = 0.33). The genetic diversity of the two smallest populations (<200 plants) was significantly reduced, indicating loss of genetic variability due to drift. The analysis of the population genetic structure revealed a significant genetic differentiation both between regions (ΦST = 0.06) and between populations within regions (ΦST = 0.20). However, there was incomplete correspondence between geographical regions and the population genetic structure. In order to preserve the overall genetic variation in wild populations of N. pseudonarcissus, management measures should thus aim to protect many populations in each region. The spatial genetic structure within populations of N. pseudonarcissus was in agreement with an isolation by distance model indicating limited gene flow due to pollinator behaviour and restricted seed dispersal. The very restricted spatial extent of clonal growth (<5 cm) and the high level of clonal diversity indicate that clonal growth in N. pseudonarcissus is not an important mode of propagation and that management measures should favour sexual reproduction in order to avoid further reductions in the size and number of populations.


Narcissus pseudonarcissus Population genetic structure Conservation genetics RAPD Clonality Spatial autocorrelation 



We thank R. Mozek and C. Steinbach for their precious help with collecting leaf samples in the field.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Guy Colling
    • 1
  • Pascal Hemmer
    • 1
  • Aurore Bonniot
    • 1
  • Sylvie Hermant
    • 1
  • Diethart Matthies
    • 2
  1. 1.Service Biologie des PopulationsMusée National d’Histoire NaturelleLuxembourgLuxembourg
  2. 2.Pflanzenökologie, Fachbereich BiologiePhilipps-Universität MarburgMarburgGermany

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