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Keywords:

  • Camellia japonica L ;
  • genetic structure;
  • microsatellite;
  • Moran’s I;
  • Morisita’s index;
  • spatial pattern

Abstract

The spatial genetic structure of Camellia japonica was investigated, using microsatellite markers, in a 4-ha permanent plot within an old-growth forest. Spatial distribution of individuals was also assessed to obtain an insight into spatial relationships between individuals and alleles. Morisita’s index of dispersion showed that 518 C. japonica individuals in the plot were clumped, and Moran’s I spatial autocorrelation coefficient revealed weak genetic structure, indicating a low level of allele clustering. Average I correlograms showed that there was stronger genetic structure over short-distance classes. The clumped distribution of individuals and the positive autocorrelation over short-distance classes may result from the limited seed dispersal and microsite heterogeneity of the stand, while the genetic structure may be weakened by overlapping seed shadow and extensive pollen flow, mediated by animal vectors, and the high outcrossing rate found in C. japonica.