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Patch establishment and development of a clonal plant, Polygonum cuspidatum, on Mount Fuji

Authors

  • Zhihua Zhou,

    Corresponding author
    1. Symbiotic Function Research Unit, Asian Natural Environmental Science Center, The University of Tokyo, Midori-cho 1-1-8, Nishitokyo-shi, Tokyo 188-0002, Japan,
    2. Laboratory of Molecular Microbial Ecology and Genomics, College of Life Science and Biotechnology, Shanghai Jiaotong University, Shanghai 200240, China,
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  • Makoto Miwa,

    1. Symbiotic Function Research Unit, Asian Natural Environmental Science Center, The University of Tokyo, Midori-cho 1-1-8, Nishitokyo-shi, Tokyo 188-0002, Japan,
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    • §

      Present address: Center for Environmental Science in Saitama, Kamitanadare 914, Kisai Town, Saitama 347–0115, Japan.

  • Kazuhide Nara,

    1. Symbiotic Function Research Unit, Asian Natural Environmental Science Center, The University of Tokyo, Midori-cho 1-1-8, Nishitokyo-shi, Tokyo 188-0002, Japan,
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  • Bingyun Wu,

    1. Symbiotic Function Research Unit, Asian Natural Environmental Science Center, The University of Tokyo, Midori-cho 1-1-8, Nishitokyo-shi, Tokyo 188-0002, Japan,
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  • Hironobu Nakaya,

    1. Symbiotic Function Research Unit, Asian Natural Environmental Science Center, The University of Tokyo, Midori-cho 1-1-8, Nishitokyo-shi, Tokyo 188-0002, Japan,
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  • Chunlan Lian,

    1. Symbiotic Function Research Unit, Asian Natural Environmental Science Center, The University of Tokyo, Midori-cho 1-1-8, Nishitokyo-shi, Tokyo 188-0002, Japan,
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  • Naoya Miyashita,

    1. Symbiotic Function Research Unit, Asian Natural Environmental Science Center, The University of Tokyo, Midori-cho 1-1-8, Nishitokyo-shi, Tokyo 188-0002, Japan,
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  • Ryuuya Oishi,

    1. Symbiotic Function Research Unit, Asian Natural Environmental Science Center, The University of Tokyo, Midori-cho 1-1-8, Nishitokyo-shi, Tokyo 188-0002, Japan,
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  • Emiko Maruta,

    1. Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Toho University, Miyama 2-2-1, Funabashi, Chiba 274-8510, Japan
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  • Taizo Hogetsu

    1. Symbiotic Function Research Unit, Asian Natural Environmental Science Center, The University of Tokyo, Midori-cho 1-1-8, Nishitokyo-shi, Tokyo 188-0002, Japan,
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Z. Zhou. Fax: 81 424 65 5601; E-mail: ho@fr.a.u-tokyo.ac.jp

Abstract

Microsatellite analysis was used to investigate the patch establishment and development of Polygonum cuspidatum Sieb. et Zucc, a clonal herbaceous plant that dominates the primary succession on the southeast slope of Mount Fuji. Genotypes of P. cuspidatum in 155 patches at the study site differed from each other. This indicates that P. cuspidatum patches are initially established by seed dispersed on the bare scoria field, and not by clonal rhizome extension. Genetic differentiation was estimated using the FST values between subpopulations at the study site. There was almost no genetic differentiation between subpopulations, indicating the presence of massive gene flow. The pollen fathers of seeds and maternal genets of current-year seedlings were inferred from the microsatellite allele composition by a simple exclusion method. The wide, random distribution of pollen fathers suggests that pollen dispersal occurs over a broad area. Maternal analysis showed a tendency for seed dispersal to be biased to the area nearby and down slope from the mother plants. Patch establishment under massive gene flow may result from such pollen and seed dispersal. To understand the process of patch development, aerial photographs taken from 1962 to 1999 were compared, and then genets in each of 36 patches were identified from the microsatellite genotypes of P. cuspidatum shoots. The comparison of aerial photographs showed that most of the patches enlarged each year and that some neighbouring patches combined during growth. Genet analysis demonstrated a high correlation between patch area and the area of the largest genet within it, and that new genets were recruited at the patch periphery. These findings indicate that both vegetative and sexual reproduction, i.e. rhizome extension and the establishment of new seedlings, contribute to the development of P. cuspidatum patches.

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