Cisovka - the relic population of Abies alba and its relationship to man-made silver-fir stands in Białowieża primeval forest

Leon Mejnartowicz


In Białowieża Primeval Forest, in 1823 Stanisław Górski discovered on the Cisovka Hag, a relic population of European silver-fir (Abies alba Mill.). This population is isolated and most away, 120 km to the North-East, from the border of European-silver-fir distribution. Besides the natural population Cisovka, there are also man-made silver fir stands and clumps in the Polish and Belorussian part of Białowieża Primeval Forest. In the Polish part there are four such artificial stands. If the seed-producing silver-fir stands really originated from the Cisovka population, then they are a very valuable part of the declining population and an easy accessible seed source. However, if these populations were introduced to the Białowieża Primeval Forest, then they are a potential source of dangerous genetic pollution of the Cisovka population. The relationship of the genetic structure of the Cisovka population to man-made silver-fir-stands in Białowieża Forest was investigated with the help of 17 loci of 1 1 enzyme systems. Genetic diversity of Cisovka population is characterized by the smallest mean number of alleles per locus (Mal= 1.353, includes all loci studied and per polimorphic locus Malp = 2.00). In Cisovka population there is very low-grade of polimorphic loci (Pp = 11.765 with the mean 37.255 for all studied populations). Expected heterozygosity, He = 0.079 revealed very low-grade of genetic diversity in the population. The observed heterozygosity (Ho = 0.123) was similar to this characterictic in other populations. A dendrogram based on Neis genetic distance coefficient (D) among 9 silver-fir populations was constructed. Cisovka in the UPGMA dendrogram is a distinct population separated from other ones by a very great genetic distance (D = 0.06). Also two man-made silver-fir (B I and 132) stands are separated from others. Only populations B3 and B4 are combined into one subgroup linked to the population Tomaszów Lubelski. Basing on the received results one should decide that all the four studied artificial stands were introduced to Białowieża Primeval Forest from beyond of this geographical regions. There is some reason to assume (on the GDH2 allele frequency) that man-made silver-stands in compartments 453Aa and 498Cg are of eastern provenance. It is rather certain that these stands are not of offspring of Cisovka populations.


Abies alba; isozymes; preservation

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