Geographic Distribution of Quantitative Trait Variation and Genetic Variability in Natural Tree Species

A special issue of Forests (ISSN 1999-4907). This special issue belongs to the section "Genetics and Molecular Biology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (10 June 2023) | Viewed by 4251

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Forest Engineering, State University of the Central-West (Unicentro), Irati 84505-677, PR, Brazil
Interests: quantitative genetics; population genetics; tree improvement; genome selection

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Guest Editor
CSIRO Australian Tree Seed Centre, GPO Box 1700, Canberra, ACT 2601, Australia
Interests: forest genetic resource management; genetic conservation; domestication and tree breeding strategies; inbreeding; seed production; tree crops for bioenergy

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Guest Editor
Conservation and Genetic Improvement of Forest Resources, EMBRAPA Florestas, Estrada da Ribeira km 111, CEP 83411-000, Colombo, PR, Brazil
Interests: forest resources and forest engineering; nature conservation; plant genetics

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Considering the wide climatic variability that the planet has been experiencing, a topic that is always current and increasingly relevant is understanding the geographic distribution of genetic diversity within populations and genetic differentiation between populations. Currently, the factor that most affects geographic and genetic diversity is the anthropogenic alteration of landscapes. These changes can alter natural selection, increase genetic drift, and interrupt contemporary gene flow. Thus, studies on the geographic distribution of quantitative trait variation and genetic variability of natural tree species are strategic for informing decision making and the assessment of impacts already occurring in the environment. Such studies also offer information that can help to shape the management and conservation of these populations and species. This Special Issue aims to include selected theoretical and practical studies that advance our understanding of geographic distribution and variation of quantitative traits and genetic diversity using molecular and morphological markers for natural tree species.

Potential topics include but are not limited to:

  • Future perspectives for studies on landscape genetics;
  • Multiscale landscapes: genetic diversity and adaptive tree species;
  • Contemporary gene flow in tree populations;
  • Quantitative and genetic variation of tree populations;
  • Using molecular markers to inform landscape management planning.

Dr. Evandro Vagner Tambarussi
Dr. David James Bush
Dr. Ananda Virgínia De Aguiar
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • multiscale landscape
  • genetic diversity
  • contemporary gene flow
  • quantitative trait variation
  • molecular markers

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

20 pages, 4792 KiB  
Article
Phenotypic Diversity Analysis in Elaeagnus angustifolia Populations in Gansu Province, China
by Rongrong Shi, Zhu Zhu, Ningrui Shi, Yongmei Li, Jun Dang, Yanli Wang, Yonglong Ma, Xiangyun Xu and Ting Liu
Forests 2023, 14(6), 1143; https://doi.org/10.3390/f14061143 - 31 May 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1058
Abstract
As a highly resistant urban ornamental plant, Elaeagnus angustifolia L. is often used in dry land, saline-alkali land shelter forest, and landscape horticulture. It is the main windbreak and sand-fixing tree species in Gansu Province, China. The special geographical and climatic environment makes [...] Read more.
As a highly resistant urban ornamental plant, Elaeagnus angustifolia L. is often used in dry land, saline-alkali land shelter forest, and landscape horticulture. It is the main windbreak and sand-fixing tree species in Gansu Province, China. The special geographical and climatic environment makes the distribution and growth of E. angustifolia in Gansu Province show different degrees of difference. In order to evaluate the phenotypic diversity of E. angustifolia in different populations and its variation patterns under different geographical and climatic conditions, 35 phenotypic traits (trunk, branch, leaf, and flower related traits) of 90 plants from 10 populations in Gansu Province were measured and analyzed. The results showed the following: (1) E. angustifolia has rich phenotypic variation. The variation is greater among populations. The traits with the largest and smallest coefficients of variation were “under-branch height” and “flower diameter”, respectively. The variation in the Qilihe population was the largest, and the variation in the Ganzhou population was the smallest. The diversity of flowers and leaves is relatively higher. (2) Correlation analysis showed that most of traits were closely related. Leaf traits showed a gradient variation law dominated by altitude and precipitation. Flower traits were affected by the synergistic effects of various geographical and climatic factors. (3) The results of the principal component analysis (PCA) showed that the primary traits affecting the phenotypic diversity of E. angustifolia were leaf size and branch length among the related traits of trunk, branch, leaf, and flower. (4) Cluster analysis showed that 90 E. angustifolia plants were clustered into four clusters that were not completely clustered according to geographical distance and may be randomly affected by genotypic or environmental factors. These results will lay a foundation for further analysis of the genetic mechanism of phenotypic traits of E. angustifolia and also provide a reference for the collection, preservation, and variety improvement of E. angustifolia germplasm resources. Full article
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18 pages, 3675 KiB  
Article
Logging Affects Genetic Diversity Parameters in an Araucaria angustifolia Population: An Endangered Species in Southern Brazil
by Rafael H. Roque, Alexandre M. Sebbenn, David H. Boshier, Afonso F. Filho and Evandro V. Tambarussi
Forests 2023, 14(5), 1046; https://doi.org/10.3390/f14051046 - 18 May 2023
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Abstract
Araucaria angustifolia is an endangered species with more than 97% of its natural populations extinct. Logging of the species in the few remaining natural populations is highly restricted, though not readily accepted by farmers and logging companies. Consequently, political pressures have emerged for [...] Read more.
Araucaria angustifolia is an endangered species with more than 97% of its natural populations extinct. Logging of the species in the few remaining natural populations is highly restricted, though not readily accepted by farmers and logging companies. Consequently, political pressures have emerged for a return to logging of the species. Assessing the sustainability of such logging requires studies of a range of impacts on the remaining populations, including their genetic viability. We investigated the effect of selective logging on genetic diversity, intrapopulation spatial genetic structure (SGS), effective population size (Ne), and pollen and seed dispersal in three A. angustifolia permanent sample blocks established in a remnant of Araucaria Forest in Brazil. In these sample blocks, three logging intensities were applied (LI: 18.4, 31.4, and 32.3% of trees). Microsatellite analysis was performed for all adult and juvenile trees pre- and post-logging saplings. After selective logging, the greatest loss of alleles and the greatest decrease in Ne were observed from the highest LI. Logging increased SGS, while the distance and patterns of pollen and seed dispersal were different for both pre- and post-logging scenarios, with pollen dispersed over greater distances than seed. Pollen dispersal distance post-logging and seed dispersal distance pre- and post-logging decreased with the increased distance between parents. After logging, Ne reduced from 27.7 (LI = 31.4%) to 28.8 (LI = 18.4%) and 39.5% (LI = 32.3%), and some alleles were lost. Despite this, the loss of these alleles may be compensated for in subsequent generations, considering that logging resulted in changes such as an increase in the rate and distance of pollen immigration. Under the conditions evaluated in this study, selective logging of A. angustifolia is not adequate. To achieve truly sustainable forest logging, new rules that combine higher minimum DBH, lower logging intensity, and longer cutting cycles must be adopted. Furthermore, extensive genetic studies must be performed before logging any individual from a natural population. Full article
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14 pages, 2723 KiB  
Article
Phenotypic Variation in Leaf, Fruit and Seed Traits in Natural Populations of Eucommia ulmoides, a Relict Chinese Endemic Tree
by Chaochun Wang, Huimin Gong, Miao Feng and Chunlian Tian
Forests 2023, 14(3), 462; https://doi.org/10.3390/f14030462 - 24 Feb 2023
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 1586
Abstract
Eucommia ulmoides Oliver is a dioecious, pharmaceutically and economically important, and precious relict tree species endemic to China, and has been listed as a key protected tree species of national level II. Phenotypic variation in ten natural populations in some key traits is [...] Read more.
Eucommia ulmoides Oliver is a dioecious, pharmaceutically and economically important, and precious relict tree species endemic to China, and has been listed as a key protected tree species of national level II. Phenotypic variation in ten natural populations in some key traits is still obscure. In order to study the relationship between population variation in phenotypic traits and geoclimatic factors, 15 traits were analyzed in 117 female sampled tree from ten natural populations. The results showed that the coefficients of variation for all of the 15 traits widely ranged from 9.7% (fruit vertical diameter) to 49.0% (leaf thickness), with an average of 19.7%. The nested ANOVA revealed plentiful phenotypic variations within and among populations. The variation within population was the main source, with an average proportion of 42.8%, greater than that among the population (16.6%). The 15 traits were reduced to four principal components, which collectively accounted for 70.1% of phenotypic variation among trees. The ten populations were mainly divided into two groups: Group A included eight populations throughout the Wuling Mountains occurring in relatively close proximity to each other, and Group B which comprises two geographically distant populations in mountains further northern. There were significant level correlations between phenotypic differentiation among population of E. ulmoides and both geographic (r = 0.65, p < 0.05) and climatic (r = 0.73, p < 0.01) distance. Step-wise regression indicates average annual temperature and rainfall accounted for most of the phenotypic variation among populations, and mainly associated with differences in leaf, fruit and seed size. These results can have an important implication for genetic improvement, diversity conservation and resource management of the species in the future. Full article
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