Comparative analysis of the pattern of population genetic diversity in three Indo-West Pacific Rhizophora mangrove species

Yan, Yu-Bin, Duke, Norm C., and Sun, Mei (2016) Comparative analysis of the pattern of population genetic diversity in three Indo-West Pacific Rhizophora mangrove species. Frontiers in Plant Science, 7. 1434. pp. 1-17.

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Rhizophora species are the most widely distributed mangrove trees in the Indo-West Pacific (IWP) region. Comparative studies of these species with shared life history traits can help identify evolutionary factors that have played most important roles in determining genetic diversity within and between populations in ocean-current dispersed mangrove tree species. We sampled 935 individuals from 54 natural populations for genotyping with 13 microsatellite markers to investigate the level of genetic variation, population structure, and gene flow on a broad geographic scale in Rhizophora apiculata, Rhizophora mucronata, and Rhizophora stylosa across the IWP region. In contrast to the pattern expected of long-lived woody plants with predominant wind-pollination, water-dispersed seeds and wide geographic range, genetic variation within populations was generally low in all the three species, especially in those peripheral populations from geographic range limits. Although the large water-buoyant propagules of Rhizophora have capacity for long distance dispersal, such events might be rare in reality, as reflected by the low level of gene flow and high genetic differentiation between most of population pairs within each species. Phylogeographic separation of Australian and Pacific island populations from SE Asian lineages previously revealed with DNA sequence data was still detectable in R. apiculata based on genetic distances, but this pattern of disjunction was not always evident in R. mucronata and R. stylosa, suggesting that fast-evolving molecular markers could be more suitable for detecting contemporary genetic structure but not deep evolutionary divergence caused by historical vicariance. Given that mangrove species generally have small effective population sizes, we conclude that genetic drift coupled with limited gene flow have played a dominant role in producing the current pattern of population genetic diversity in the IWP Rhizophora species, overshadowing the effects of their life history traits. Recent population fragmentation and disturbances arising from human activities could further endanger genetic diversity in mangrove trees.

Item ID: 46147
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1664-462X
Keywords: genetic diversity, genetic drift, gene flow, inbreeding coefficient, mangroves, microsatellites, population structure, Rhizophora
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© 2016 Yan, Duke and Sun. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

Funders: Hong Kong Research Grants Council (HKRGC), Conference and Research Grant Hong Kong (CRCG), University of Hong Kong (UHK)
Projects and Grants: HKRGC HKU7261/00M
Date Deposited: 21 Oct 2016 04:43
FoR Codes: 31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3104 Evolutionary biology > 310406 Evolutionary impacts of climate change @ 40%
31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3105 Genetics > 310599 Genetics not elsewhere classified @ 30%
41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4104 Environmental management > 410401 Conservation and biodiversity @ 30%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960503 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Coastal and Estuarine Environments @ 40%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960802 Coastal and Estuarine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 30%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9613 Remnant Vegetation and Protected Conservation Areas > 961304 Remnant Vegetation and Protected Conservation Areas in Coastal and Estuarine Environments @ 30%
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