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Mating system and pollen gene flow in Mediterranean maritime pine

Abstract : Mating systems define the mode of gene transmission across generations, helping to determine the amount and distribution of genetic variation within and among populations of plant species. A hierarchical analysis of Mediterranean maritime pine mating system (61 mother trees from 24 plots, clustered in three populations) was used to identify factors affecting mating patterns and to fit pollen dispersal kernels. Levels of ovule and seed abortion, multi- and single-locus outcrossing rates and correlated paternity were estimated from progeny arrays and correlated with ecological stand variables and biometric tree measures. Pollen dispersal kernels were fitted using TwoGener and KinDist indirect methods and simulations were carried out to identify relevant factors affecting correlated paternity. Maritime pine showed high outcrossing rates (t(m) and t(s) approximately 0.96) and relatively low levels of correlated paternity [an r(p) of 0.018 (Ritland's estimate) or 0.048 (Hardy's estimate)], although higher than in other anemophilous tree species. Mating system parameters had high variation at the single-tree level (99-100%) but no stand or population effect was detected. At the single-tree level, outcrossing rates were correlated with tree (diameter and height) and crown size. In addition, correlated paternity showed a significant negative correlation with tree height, height to crown base and height to the largest crown width, probably reflecting the importance of the trees' 'ecological neighborhoods'. Indirectly estimated pollen dispersal kernels were very leptokurtic (exponential-power distributions with beta<0.5), with mean dispersal distances from 78.4 to 174.4 m. Fitted dispersal kernels will be useful in building explicit simulation models that include dispersal functions, and which will contribute to current conservation and management programs for maritime pine. Nevertheless, the numerical simulations showed that restricted dispersal, male fertility and phenological overlap could only partially explain the observed levels of correlated paternity; so other factors may also be relevant for the management of this valuable forest tree species.
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A.I. De-Lucas, J.J. Robledo-Arnuncio, E. Hidalgo, Santiago C. González-Martínez. Mating system and pollen gene flow in Mediterranean maritime pine. Heredity, Nature Publishing Group, 2008, 100 (4), pp.390-399. ⟨10.1038/sj.hdy.6801090⟩. ⟨hal-02662213⟩



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