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Shifts in reproductive assurance strategies and inbreeding costs associated with habitat fragmentation in Central American mahogany

Authors

  • Martin F. Breed,

    1. Australian Centre for Evolutionary Biology and Biodiversity (ACEBB) and School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Adelaide, North Terrace, Adelaide, South Australia 5005
    2. E-mail: martin.breed@adelaide.edu.au
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  • Michael G. Gardner,

    1. Australian Centre for Evolutionary Biology and Biodiversity (ACEBB) and School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Adelaide, North Terrace, Adelaide, South Australia 5005
    2. School of Biological Sciences, Flinders University, Bedford Park, Adelaide, South Australia
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  • Kym M. Ottewell,

    1. Australian Centre for Evolutionary Biology and Biodiversity (ACEBB) and School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Adelaide, North Terrace, Adelaide, South Australia 5005
    2. Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Tulane University, Saint Charles Avenue, New Orleans, Louisiana 70118
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  • Carlos M. Navarro,

    1. Universidad Nacional, Instituto de Investigaciones y Servicios Forestales, 86-3000 Heredia, Costa Rica
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  • Andrew J. Lowe

    Corresponding author
    1. Australian Centre for Evolutionary Biology and Biodiversity (ACEBB) and School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Adelaide, North Terrace, Adelaide, South Australia 5005
    2. State Herbarium of South Australia, Science Resource Centre, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Hackney Road, SA 5005, Australia
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E-mail:andrew.lowe@adelaide.edu.au

Abstract

Ecology Letters (2012) 15: 444–452

Abstract

The influence of habitat fragmentation on mating patterns and progeny fitness in trees is critical for understanding the long-term impact of contemporary landscape change on the sustainability of biodiversity. We examined the relationship between mating patterns, using microsatellites, and fitness of progeny, in a common garden trial, for the insect-pollinated big-leaf mahogany, Swietenia macrophylla King, sourced from forests and isolated trees in 16 populations across Central America. As expected, isolated trees had disrupted mating patterns and reduced fitness. However, for dry provenances, fitness was negatively related to correlated paternity, while for mesic provenances, fitness was correlated positively with outcrossing rate and negatively with correlated paternity. Poorer performance of mesic provenances is likely because of reduced effective pollen donor density due to poorer environmental suitability and greater disturbance history. Our results demonstrate a differential shift in reproductive assurance and inbreeding costs in mahogany, driven by exploitation history and contemporary landscape context.

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