, Volume 140, Issue 4–6, pp 189–195 | Cite as

Geographical patterns of turnover and nestedness-resultant components of allelic diversity among populations

  • Jose Alexandre Felizola Diniz-FilhoEmail author
  • Rosane Garcia Collevatti
  • Thannya Nascimento Soares
  • Mariana Pires de Campos Telles


The analysis of geographical patterns in population divergence has always been a powerful way to infer microevolutionary processes involved in population differentiation, and several approaches have been used to investigate such patterns. Most frequently, multivariate spatial patterns of population differentiation are analyzed by computing pairwise genetic distances or FST (or related statistics, such as ϕST from AMOVA), which are then correlated with geographical distances or landscape features. However, when calculating distances, especially based on presence-absence of alleles in local populations, there would be a confounding effect of allelic richness differences in the population differentiation. Moreover, the relative magnitude of these components and their spatial patterns can help identifying microevolutionary processes driving population differentiation. Here we show how recent methodological advances in ecological community analyses that allows partitioning dissimilarity into turnover (turnover) and richness differences, or nestedness-resultant dissimilarity, can be applied to allelic variation data, using an endemic Cerrado tree (Dipteryx alata) as a case study. Individuals from 15 local populations were genotyped for eight microsatellite loci, and pairwise dissimilarities were computed based on presence-absence of alleles. The turnover of alleles among populations represented 69 % of variation in dissimilarity, but only the richness difference component shows a clear spatial structure, appearing as a westward decrease of allelic richness. We show that decoupling richness difference and turnover components of allelic variation reveals more clearly how similarity among populations reflects geographical patterns in allelic diversity that can be interpreted in respect to historical range expansion in the species.


Allelic richness Autocorrelation Cerrado Correlograms Dipteryx alata Mantel test Population divergence Spatial genetic structure 



We thank Andrés Baselga and one anonymous reviewers for suggestions that improved the original manuscript. Our research program integrating macroecology and molecular ecology of plants has been continuously supported by several grants and fellowships to the research network GENPAC (Geographical Genetics and Regional Planning for natural resources in Brazilian Cerrado) from CNPq/MCT/CAPES (projects # 564717/2010-0 and 563624/2010-8) and by the “Núcleo de Excelência em Genética e Conservação de Espécies do Cerrado”—GECER (PRONEX/FAPEG/CNPq CP 07-2009). Field work has been supported by Systema Naturae Consultoria Ambiental LTDA. Work by J.A.F.D.-F., M.P.C.T. and R.G.C. has been continuously supported by productivity fellowships from CNPq.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jose Alexandre Felizola Diniz-Filho
    • 1
    Email author
  • Rosane Garcia Collevatti
    • 2
  • Thannya Nascimento Soares
    • 2
  • Mariana Pires de Campos Telles
    • 2
  1. 1.Departamento de Ecologia, Instituto de Ciências BiológicasUniversidade Federal de GoiásGoiâniaBrazil
  2. 2.Departamento de Biologia Geral, Instituto de Ciências BiológicasUniversidade Federal de GoiásGoiâniaBrazil

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