Landscape and Ecological Engineering

, Volume 13, Issue 1, pp 33–44 | Cite as

Phylogeography of ten native herbaceous species in the temperate region of Japan: implication for the establishment of seed transfer zones for revegetation materials

  • Motoshi TomitaEmail author
  • Soh Kobayashi
  • Seiya Abe
  • Takaaki Hanai
  • Kaori Kawazu
  • Sonoko Tsuda
Original Paper


Revegetation using native species requires the development of seed transfer zones that capture genetic distinctiveness and adaptive potentials while avoiding potential maladaptation and genetic contamination by exotic genotypes. Delineation based on phylogeographic information has recently been used to establish seed transfer zones; however, only a few herbaceous species that are suitable for revegetation have been investigated in the temperate regions of Japan. We investigated the phylogeography of non-coding regions of chloroplast DNA of ten native species in the temperate regions of Japan. Although no species showed clear-cut geographical distributions of the 2–14 haplotypes identified, spatially constrained Bayesian clustering showed two clusters in five species (Calamagrostis epigejos, Eragrostis ferruginea, Imperata cylindrica, Microstegium japonicum, and Microstegium vimineum) but not for others. Posterior modes of clusters for I. cylindrica and M. vimineum showed delineations at Chubu (the middle of Honshu Island), which divide the study region into northeastern and southwestern regions, indicating that these species had recovered from glacial refugia. Posterior mode of cluster for E. ferruginea showed that one consists of a coastal zone along the Pacific Ocean side of western Japan, while the other consists of the remaining area, indicating range expansion from south coast to north. Delineation of C. epigejos and M. japonicum were unclear. The mixed results indicated that establishing seed transfer zones for herbaceous species in Japan will require phylogeographical studies on a wide range of species that may be suitable for revegetation.


Bayesian clustering Chloroplast DNA Ecological restoration Genetic contamination Seed sowing 



We thank Rikyu Matsuki and Chinami Ishiyama for their assistance in field sampling and laboratory works. We are also grateful to two anonymous reviewers for comments on previous versions of the manuscript. The study was funded by an in-house budget of the Central Research Institute of Electric Power Industry and Chubu Electric Power. All the experiments comply with the current laws of Japan.

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Copyright information

© International Consortium of Landscape and Ecological Engineering and Springer Japan 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Environmental Science Research LaboratoryCentral Research Institute of Electric Power IndustryAbikoJapan
  2. 2.Techno Chubu Co., Ltd.NagoyaJapan
  3. 3.Energy Applications R&D CenterChubu Electric Power Co., Inc.NagoyaJapan

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