Genetic delineation of local provenance defines seed collection zones along a climate gradient

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    Abstract

    Efforts to re-establish native plant species should consider intraspecific variation ifwe are to restore genetic diversity and evolutionary potential. Data describing spatial genetic structure and the scale of adaptive differentiation are needed for restoration seed sourcing. Genetically defined provenance zones provide species-specific guidelines for the distance within which seed transfer likely maintains levels of genetic diversity and conserves locally adapted traits. While a growing number of studies incorporate genetic marker data in delineation of local provenance, they often fail to distinguish the impacts of neutral and non-neutral variation. We analysed population genetic structure for 134 amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) markers in Stylidiumhispidum(Stylidiaceae) along a north-south transect of the species' range with the goal to estimate the distance at which significant genetic differences occur among source and recipient populations in restoration. In addition, we tested AFLP markers for signatures of selection, and examined the relationship of neutral and putatively selected markers with climate variables. Estimates of population genetic structure revealed significant levels of differentiation (Phi(PT) = 0.23) and suggested a global provenance distance of 45 km for pairwise comparisons of 16 populations. Of the 134 markers, 13 exhibited evidence of diversifying selection (Phi(PT) = 0.52). Using data for precipitation and thermal gradients, we compared genetic, geographic and environmental distance for subsets of neutral and selected markers. Strong isolation by distance was detected in all cases, but positive correlations with climate variables were present only for markers with signatures of selection. We address findings in light of defining local provenance in ecological restoration.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalAOB Plants
    Volume8
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 10 Jan 2016

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