Evidence of low gene flow in a neotropical clustered tree species in two rainforest stands of French Guiana

Authors

  • C. Dutech,

    1. Laboratoire de Génétique et d’Ecologie Moléculaire (Silvolab), Cirad-forêt, BP 701, 97387 Kourou Cedex, France,
    2. Centre d’Ecologie Fonctionnelle et Evolutive (CNRS) 1919 route de Mende, 34293 Montpellier Cedex 5, France,
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    • §

      Present address: University of Missouri St Louis, Department of Biology, 8001 Natural Bridge Road, St Louis, MO, 63121, USA

  • J. Seiter,

    1. Laboratoire de Génétique et d’Ecologie Moléculaire (Silvolab), Cirad-forêt, BP 701, 97387 Kourou Cedex, France,
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  • P. Petronelli,

    1. Laboratoire de Génétique et d’Ecologie Moléculaire (Silvolab), Cirad-forêt, BP 701, 97387 Kourou Cedex, France,
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  • H. I. Joly,

    1. Cirad-Forêt, TA 10/C Campus international de Baillarguet, 34398 Montpellier cedex 5, France
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  • P. Jarne

    Corresponding author
    1. Centre d’Ecologie Fonctionnelle et Evolutive (CNRS) 1919 route de Mende, 34293 Montpellier Cedex 5, France,
      P. Jarne. Fax: 33 + 4 67 61 21 38; E-mail: jarne@cefe.cnrs-mop.fr
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P. Jarne. Fax: 33 + 4 67 61 21 38; E-mail: jarne@cefe.cnrs-mop.fr

Abstract

The spatial genetic structure of the neotropical, clustered tree species Vouacapoua americana (Aublet) was studied in two natural forest stands (Paracou and Nouragues) in French Guiana. Using eight microsatellite loci, V. americana is characterized by a marked genetic structure at small spatial distances (under 30–60 m), in agreement with the limited seed dispersal by rodent species. Gene flow through pollen is also shown to be mainly restricted to less than 100 m. This result suggests that most pollination events (mediated through small insects) are probably limited to within-patches of individuals, which might explain the high genetic differentiation among patches (FST = 0.11) separated by less than 2 km. We also assume that stronger genetic structure in Paracou is likely to be due to lower seed dispersal by rodents, large spatial distances separating patches, or a recent recolonization event.

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