The early stage of volcanic desert succession is underway on the southeastern slope of Mount Fuji. We used markers of nuclear microsatellites (simple sequence repeats; SSR) and chloroplast microsatellites (cpSSR) to investigate the population genetic structure and reproduction dynamics of Salix reinii, one of the dominant pioneer shrubs in this area. The number of S. reinii genets in a patch and the area of the largest genet within the patch increased with patch area, suggesting that both clonal growth and seedling recruitment are involved in the reproduction dynamics of S. reinii. Five polymorphic cpSSR markers were developed for S. reinii by sequencing the noncoding regions between universal sequences in the chloroplast genome. Nineteen different cpSSR haplotypes were identified, indicating that S. reinii pioneer genets were created by the long-distance dispersal of seeds originating from different mother genets around the study site, where all vegetation was destroyed during the last eruption. Furthermore, the clustered distributions of different haplotypes within each patch or plot suggested that newly colonized genets tended to be generated from seeds dispersed near the initially established mother genets. These results revealed that the establishment of the S. reinii population on the southeastern slope of Mount Fuji involved two sequential modes of seed dispersal: long-distance dispersal followed by short-distance dispersal.
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