Spatial structure of a natural mixed topodeme of subalpine Sorbus taxa

Dušan Gömöry, Diana Krajmerová

Abstract


Spatial distribution and genetic variation of a population of Sorbus chamaemespilus (L.) Crantz and putative hybrids between S. chamaemespilus, S. aria and S. aucuparia growing in the nature reserve Skalnä Alpa (central Slovakia) were studied. The analysis of spatial patterns using Ripley's K-function revealed a significant clustering of the adults of both S. chamaemespilus and hybrid taxa at distances up to ~15 m and a strong affinity between both taxonomical groups, indicating similar ecological requirements. Bivariate point-pattern analysis considering cardinal direction showed that juvenile individuals of S. chamaemespilus are clustered around the adults up to the distance of ~2 m, whereas in hybrid taxa with larger and more dense crowns, juveniles are clustered at distances more than ~3 m from the adults. The analysis of genetic variation in a subset of adult shrubs using 4 nuclear microsatellite loci revealed that unlike expected, there was no variation in S. chamaemespilus but several genotypes were found in the group of hybrid taxa. Implications for the reproduction system and conservation of the investigated taxa are discussed.

Keywords


Sorbus L.; spatial structure; apomixis; nuclear microsatellites; dispersal

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