Mating system, pollen and propagule dispersal, and spatial genetic structure in a high-density population of the mangrove tree Kandelia candel


Chunlan Lian, Fax: +81-424-65-5616; E-mail:


Mangrove tree species form ecologically and economically important forests along the tropical and subtropical coastlines of the world. Although low intrapopulation genetic diversity and high interpopulation genetic differentiation have been detected in most mangrove tree species, no direct investigation of pollen and propagule dispersal through paternity and/or parentage analysis and spatial genetic structure within populations has been conducted. We surveyed the mating system, pollen and propagule dispersal, and spatial genetic structure in a natural population of Kandelia candel, one of the typical viviparous mangrove tree species, using nuclear and chloroplast microsatellite markers. High diversity and outcrossing rates were observed. Paternity and parentage analysis and modelling estimations revealed the presence of an extremely short-distance component of pollen and propagule dispersal (pollen: 15.2 ± 14.9 m (SD) by paternity analysis and 34.4 m by modelling; propagule: 9.4 ± 13.8 m (SD) by parentage analysis, and 18.6 m by modelling). Genetic structure was significant at short distances, and a clumped distribution of chloroplast microsatellite genotypes was seen in K. candel adults. We conclude that the K. candel population was initiated by limited propagule founders from outside by long-distance dispersal followed by limited propagule dispersal from the founders, resulting in a half-sib family structure.