Genetic connectivity and diversity in inselberg population of Acacia woodmaniorum, a rare endemic of the Yilgarn Craton banded iron formations

MA Millar, DJ Coates, M Byrne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

23 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Historically rare plant species with disjunct population distributions and small population sizes might be expected to show significant genetic structure and low levels of genetic diversity because of the effects of inbreeding and genetic drift. Across the globe, terrestrial inselbergs are habitat for rich, often rare and endemic flora and are valuable systems for investigating evolutionary processes that shape patterns of genetic structure and levels of genetic diversity at the landscape scale. We assessed genetic structure and levels of genetic diversity across the range of the historically rare inselberg endemic Acacia woodmaniorum. Phylogeographic and genetic structure indicates that connectivity is not sufficient to produce a panmictic population across the limited geographic range of the species. However, historical levels of gene flow are sufficient to maintain a high degree of adaptive connectivity across the landscape. Genetic diversity indicates gene flow is sufficient to largely counteract any negative genetic effects of inbreeding and random genetic drift in even the most disjunct or smallest populations. Phylogeographic and genetic structure, a signal of isolation by distance and a lack of evidence of recent genetic bottlenecks suggest long-term stability of contemporary population distributions and population sizes. There is some evidence that genetic connectivity among disjunct outcrops may be facilitated by the occasional long distance dispersal of Acacia polyads carried by insect pollinators moved by prevailing winds.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)437-444
Number of pages8
JournalHeredity
Volume11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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Acacia
Genetic Structures
Iron
Genetic Drift
Inbreeding
Gene Flow
Population
Population Density
Demography
Ecosystem
Insects

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title = "Genetic connectivity and diversity in inselberg population of Acacia woodmaniorum, a rare endemic of the Yilgarn Craton banded iron formations",
abstract = "Historically rare plant species with disjunct population distributions and small population sizes might be expected to show significant genetic structure and low levels of genetic diversity because of the effects of inbreeding and genetic drift. Across the globe, terrestrial inselbergs are habitat for rich, often rare and endemic flora and are valuable systems for investigating evolutionary processes that shape patterns of genetic structure and levels of genetic diversity at the landscape scale. We assessed genetic structure and levels of genetic diversity across the range of the historically rare inselberg endemic Acacia woodmaniorum. Phylogeographic and genetic structure indicates that connectivity is not sufficient to produce a panmictic population across the limited geographic range of the species. However, historical levels of gene flow are sufficient to maintain a high degree of adaptive connectivity across the landscape. Genetic diversity indicates gene flow is sufficient to largely counteract any negative genetic effects of inbreeding and random genetic drift in even the most disjunct or smallest populations. Phylogeographic and genetic structure, a signal of isolation by distance and a lack of evidence of recent genetic bottlenecks suggest long-term stability of contemporary population distributions and population sizes. There is some evidence that genetic connectivity among disjunct outcrops may be facilitated by the occasional long distance dispersal of Acacia polyads carried by insect pollinators moved by prevailing winds.",
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Genetic connectivity and diversity in inselberg population of Acacia woodmaniorum, a rare endemic of the Yilgarn Craton banded iron formations. / Millar, MA; Coates, DJ; Byrne, M.

In: Heredity, Vol. 11, 2013, p. 437-444.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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AU - Coates, DJ

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AB - Historically rare plant species with disjunct population distributions and small population sizes might be expected to show significant genetic structure and low levels of genetic diversity because of the effects of inbreeding and genetic drift. Across the globe, terrestrial inselbergs are habitat for rich, often rare and endemic flora and are valuable systems for investigating evolutionary processes that shape patterns of genetic structure and levels of genetic diversity at the landscape scale. We assessed genetic structure and levels of genetic diversity across the range of the historically rare inselberg endemic Acacia woodmaniorum. Phylogeographic and genetic structure indicates that connectivity is not sufficient to produce a panmictic population across the limited geographic range of the species. However, historical levels of gene flow are sufficient to maintain a high degree of adaptive connectivity across the landscape. Genetic diversity indicates gene flow is sufficient to largely counteract any negative genetic effects of inbreeding and random genetic drift in even the most disjunct or smallest populations. Phylogeographic and genetic structure, a signal of isolation by distance and a lack of evidence of recent genetic bottlenecks suggest long-term stability of contemporary population distributions and population sizes. There is some evidence that genetic connectivity among disjunct outcrops may be facilitated by the occasional long distance dispersal of Acacia polyads carried by insect pollinators moved by prevailing winds.

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