Patterns of pollen dispersal in a small population of Pinus sylvestris L. revealed by total-exclusion paternity analysis. uri icon

abstract

  • Patterns of pollen dispersal were investigated in a small, isolated, relict population of Pinus sylvestris L., consisting of 36 trees. A total-exclusion battery comprising four chloroplast and two nuclear microsatellites (theoretical paternity exclusion probability EP = 0.996) was used to assign paternity to 813 seeds, collected from 34 trees in the stand. Long-distance pollen immigration accounted for 4.3% of observed matings. Self-fertilization rate was very high (0.25), compared with typical values in more widespread populations of the species. The average effective pollen dispersal distance within the stand was 48 m (or 83 m excluding selfs). Half of effective pollen was dispersed within 11 m, and 7% beyond 200 m. A strong correlation was found between the distance to the closest tree and the mean mating-distance calculated for single-tree progenies. The effective pollen dispersal distribution showed a leptokurtic shape, with a large and significant departure from that expected under uniform dispersal. A maximum-likelihood procedure was used to fit an individual pollen dispersal distance probability density function (dispersal kernel). The estimated kernel indicated fairly leptokurtic dispersal (shape parameter b = 0.67), with an average pollen dispersal distance of 135 m, and 50% of pollen dispersed beyond 30 m. A marked directionality pattern of pollen dispersal was found, mainly caused by the uneven distribution of trees, coupled with restricted dispersal and unequal male success. Overall, results show that the number and distribution of potential pollen donors in small populations may strongly influence the patterns of effective pollen dispersal.

publication date

  • 2005
  • 2005