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Genetic diversity and spatial structure within a natural stand of a tropical forest tree species, Carapa procera (Meliaceae), in French Guiana

Doligez A., Joly H.. 1997. Heredity, 79 : p. 72-82.

DOI: 10.1038/hdy.1997.124

Isozyme markers were used to characterize levels of diversity, genotypic structure and spatial genetic structure for the low-density tree species, Carapa procera (five adults per ha), within 300 ha of a continuous tropical rain forest stand. Both seed and adult stages were investigated, a high level of genetic diversity being found in both. Fixation indices showed excess homozygosity in seeds, and excess heterozygosity in adults, which might be caused by selection in favour of heterozygotes. Autocorrelation analysis of the spatial distribution of genotypes revealed no significant pattern in adults or in seeds before dispersal, and there was a high variability in correlogram shapes among alleles. This suggests that gene flow is extensive in C procera, probably mainly through long-distance pollen dispersal, as seed dispersal is expected to be rather limited in this species (maximum distances of about 50 m). No clear-cut spatial pattern was observed in pollen allele frequencies, which supports the hypothesis of extensive pollen flow. This overall lack of structure is consistent with the data already available on the mating system of this predominantly outcrossing species.

Mots-clés : variation génétique; arbre forestier; guyane française; france; carapa procera

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