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

Abstract

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 (H eN = 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.

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Acknowledgements

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

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Correspondence to Guy Colling.

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Colling, G., Hemmer, P., Bonniot, A. et al. Population genetic structure of wild daffodils (Narcissus pseudonarcissus L.) at different spatial scales. Plant Syst Evol 287, 99–111 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00606-010-0298-x

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00606-010-0298-x

Keywords

  • Narcissus pseudonarcissus
  • Population genetic structure
  • Conservation genetics
  • RAPD
  • Clonality
  • Spatial autocorrelation