Intra-specific chloroplast DNA (cpDNA) variation was studied in Sorbus aucuparia L., an entomophilous, mid-or early successional tree producing fleshy fruits. Eight PCR-amplified fragments of the chloroplast genome were screened for restriction fragment length polymorphisms, using one or two 4 bp-cutter restriction endonucleases. cpDNA variation was investigated on two geographical scales: (1) among four regions in France and Belgium; and (2) within the Belgian region. A total of 150 individuals from six populations were analysed. Fourteen polymorphisms were detected in six of the cpDNA fragments. All polymorphisms probably resulted from insertions or deletions, and allowed the identification of 12 haplotypes. The level of genetic differentiation computed on the basis of haplotype frequencies was similar on the two geographical scales considered (GSTc = 0.286 among regions, GSTc = 0.259 among populations within the Belgian region). These values are much lower than those obtained in nine previously studied temperate tree species, which are all wind-pollinated, late-successional species producing dry fruits. These results might primarily be accounted for by the contrasting life history traits of S. aucuparia. In order to obtain insights into the relative contribution of pollen and seeds to gene flow, GSTc was also compared with previously obtained GST estimates based on allozyme data.