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Keywords:

  • AMOVA ;
  • AFLP ;
  • ANOSIM ;
  • BayeScan;
  • Banksia ;
  • Proteaceae

Abstract

An increasingly important practical application of the analysis of spatial genetic structure within plant species is to help define the extent of local provenance seed collection zones that minimize negative impacts in ecological restoration programs. Here, we derive seed sourcing guidelines from a novel range-wide assessment of spatial genetic structure of 24 populations of Banksia menziesii (Proteaceae), a widely distributed Western Australian tree of significance in local ecological restoration programs. An analysis of molecular variance (AMOVA) of 100 amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) markers revealed significant genetic differentiation among populations (ΦPT = 0.18). Pairwise population genetic dissimilarity was correlated with geographic distance, but not environmental distance derived from 15 climate variables, suggesting overall neutrality of these markers with regard to these climate variables. Nevertheless, Bayesian outlier analysis identified four markers potentially under selection, although these were not correlated with the climate variables. We calculated a global R-statistic using analysis of similarities (ANOSIM) to test the statistical significance of population differentiation and to infer a threshold seed collection zone distance of ~60 km (all markers) and 100 km (outlier markers) when genetic distance was regressed against geographic distance. Population pairs separated by >60 km were, on average, twice as likely to be significantly genetically differentiated than population pairs separated by <60 km, suggesting that habitat-matched sites within a 30-km radius around a restoration site genetically defines a local provenance seed collection zone for B. menziesii. Our approach is a novel probability-based practical solution for the delineation of a local seed collection zone to minimize negative genetic impacts in ecological restoration.