Wide outcrossing provides functional connectivity for new and old Banksia populations within a fragmented landscape

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Abstract

Habitat fragmentation affects landscape connectivity, the extent of which is influenced by the movement capacity of the vectors of seed and pollen dispersal for plants. Negative impacts of reduced connectivity can include reduced fecundity, increased inbreeding, genetic erosion and decreased long-term viability. These are issues for not only old (remnant) populations, but also new (restored) populations. We assessed reproductive and connective functionality within and among remnant and restored populations of a common tree, Banksia menziesii R.Br. (Proteaceae), in a fragmented urban landscape, utilising a genetic and graph theoretical approach. Adult trees and seed cohorts from five remnants and two restored populations were genotyped using microsatellite markers. Genetic variation and pollen dispersal were assessed using direct (paternity assignment) and indirect (pollination graphs and mating system characterisation) methods. Restored populations had greater allelic diversity (Ar=8.08; 8.34) than remnant populations (Ar range=6.49-7.41). Genetic differentiation was greater between restored and adjacent remnants (F-ST=0.03 and 0.10) than all other pairwise comparisons of remnant populations (mean F-ST=0.01 +/- 0.01; n=16 P=0.001). All populations displayed low correlated paternity (r(p)=0.06-0.16) with wide-ranging realised pollen dispersal distances (

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)255-268
Number of pages14
JournalOecologia
Volume190
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2019

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