Efectos de la Fragmentación del Bosque Tropical Seco Sobre el Éxito Reproductivo y la Estructura Genética del Arbol Samanea saman
Effects of Dry Tropical Forest Fragmentation on the Reproductive Success and Genetic Structure of the Tree Samanea saman
Cascante Marín, Alfredo
Quesada Avendaño, Mauricio
Lobo Segura, Jorge A.
Fuchs Castillo, Eric J.
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Tropical trees are particularly vulnerable to forest fragmentation because of their low densities, self-incompatibilty system, and high rates of outbreeding. Forest fragmentation is likely to decrease gene flow, increase endogamy, and eventually produce a high differentiation among remnant populations. Our objec- tives were to evaluate the effect of forest fragmentation on the reproductive success, progeny vigor, and ge- netic variation of the tropical dry-forest tree Samanea saman. We conducted our study in the dry forest of Costa Rica and compared two tree conditions to evaluate forest fragmentation: (1) isolated, individual trees more than 500 m from the nearest conspecific and surrounded by agricultural fields, pastures, or small remnant forest patches and (2) trees in continuous populations of 10 or more individuals per hectare and surrounded by undisturbed forest. We compared the probability of natural pollination, seed production, genetic varia- tion, and progeny vigor of trees in isolation and in continuous populations. The probability of flowers receiv- ing more than 23 pollen tubes at the base of styles (the flowers more likely to produce a mature fruit) was sig- nificantly greater for trees in continuous populations (2.1%) than for trees in isolation (0.4%). However, flowers from the two tree conditions received similar pollen loads on their stigmas. Fruits of trees from con- tinuous populations produced similar numbers of seeds as isolated trees did and had a similar probability of seed abortion. The probability of seed predation by bruchid beetles was significantly greater in continuous populations (30%) than in isolated trees (20%). The number of undamaged seeds ( potentially viable) was similar for both tree conditions. A genetic analysis of progeny showed that levels of genetic diversity in trees in isolation and in continuous populations were comparable. The effective self-fertilization rate and inbreed- ing coefficient of the progeny were slightly higher for isolated trees than for trees in continuous populations. In addition, there was more genetic similarity in the progeny of isolated trees, within and between fruits. Seeds produced by different fruits within a tree were more likely to be related in an isolated tree than in a tree from continuous populations. Seeds produced by trees from continuous populations were more likely to germinate and to produce greater leaf area and biomass as seedlings than progeny from isolated trees. We concluded that the fragmentation of tropical dry forests affects the genetic variation and vigor of S. saman progeny. Isolated trees showed high reproductive capacity, however, in spite of their habitat condition.
External link to the item10.1046/j.1523-1739.2002.99290.x
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