Fat-tailed gene flow in the dioecious canopy tree species Fraxinus mandshurica var. japonica revealed by microsatellites

Authors

  • S. GOTO,

    1. University Forest in Hokkaido, Graduate School of Agricultural and Life Sciences, the University of Tokyo, Yamabe, Furano, Hokkaido 079-1561, Japan,
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  • K. SHIMATANI,

    1. The Institute of Statistical Mathematics, 4-6-7 Minami-Azabu, Minato, Tokyo 106-8569, Japan,
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  • H. YOSHIMARU,

    1. Department of Forest Genetics, Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute, Incorporated Administrative Agency, 1 Matsunosato, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8687, Japan
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  • Y. TAKAHASHI

    1. University Forest in Hokkaido, Graduate School of Agricultural and Life Sciences, the University of Tokyo, Yamabe, Furano, Hokkaido 079-1561, Japan,
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Susumu Goto, Fax +81-167-42-2689; E-mail: gotos@uf.a.u-tokyo.ac.jp

Abstract

Pollen flow, seed dispersal and individual reproductive success can be simultaneously estimated from the genotypes of adults and offspring using stochastic models. Using four polymorphic microsatellite loci, gene flow of the wind-pollinated and wind-seed-dispersed dioecious tree species, Fraxinus mandshurica var. japonica, was quantified in a riparian forest, in northern Japan. In a 10.5-ha plot, 74 female adults, 76 male adults and 292 current-year seedlings were mapped and genotyped, together with 200 seeds. To estimate dispersal kernels of pollen and seeds, we applied normal, exponential power, Weibull, bivariate t-distribution kernels, and two-component models consisting of two normal distribution functions, one with a small and one with a large variance. A two-component pollen flow model with a small contribution (26.1%) from short-distance dispersal (σ = 7.2 m), and the rest from long-distance flow (σ = 209.9 m), was chosen for the best-fitting model. The average distance that integrated pollen flows inside and outside the study plot was estimated to be 196.8 m. Tree size and flowering intensity affected reproduction, and there appeared to be critical values that distinguished reproductively successful and unsuccessful adults. In contrast, the gene flow model that estimated both pollen and seed dispersal from established seedlings resulted in extensive seed dispersal, and the expected spatial genetic structures did not satisfactorily fit with the observations, even for the selected model. Our results advanced small-scale individual-based parentage analysis for quantifying fat-tailed gene flow in wind-mediated species, but also clarified its limitations and suggested future possibilities for gene flow studies.

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