Contemporary pollen flow, mating patterns and effective population size inferred from paternity analysis in a small fragmented population of the Neotropical tree Copaifera langsdorffii Desf. (Leguminosae-Caesalpinioideae)
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Pollen flow and dispersal patterns were investigated in a small, isolated forest fragment of the Neotropical insect pollinated tree Copaifera langsdorffii, using paternity analysis and eight microsatellite loci. We also investigated the coancestry and effective population size of progeny arrays for conservation and environmental restoration purposes. Open-pollinated seeds were collected from 15 seed trees within the forest fragment, in which all adult trees were mapped, measured and genotyped. Twenty seeds were also collected from the nearest neighbor tree located 1.2 km from the forest fragment. Our results show that levels of genetic diversity were significantly higher in adults than offspring and significant levels of inbreeding were detected in offspring (F = 0.226). From paternity analysis, we observed low levels of selfing (s = 8%) and pollen immigration (m = 8%) in the fragment, but very high levels were detected for the isolated tree (s = 20%; m = 75%), indicating that the population and the tree are not reproductively isolated and are connected by patterns of long distance pollen dispersal (maximum detected 1,420 m). Within the forest fragment, the pattern of pollen dispersal was a near neighbor pattern with 49% of the pollen being dispersed within 50 m. The effective population size of the progeny array was low, indicating the need to collect seeds from a large number of seed trees (at least 76) for conservation purposes. The results show that the spatial isolation of the population and isolated tree due to forest fragmentation has not disrupted genetic connectivity; however, spatial isolation does seem to increase selfing and correlated mating.
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