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Title: Population genetic structure and phylogeography of two commercially important neotropical tree species, Vochysia ferruginea Mart. & Cedrela odorata L.
Author: Cavers, Stephen
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2002
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This thesis aims to use molecular methods to investigate the genetic diversity and population structure of two commercially important neotropical tree species in a human-influenced Central American landscape. Red Yemeri, Vochysia ferruginea Mart., is recommended as a potentially highly useful species for forestry reclamation of degraded land. Populations from throughout its range in Costa Rica were analysed for both organellar (chloroplast specific PCR-RFLP) and total genomic (AFLP) variation. All populations were fixed for one of two chloroplast DNA (cpDNA) haplotypes identified. One haplotype was distributed exclusively throughout the Atlantic watershed, whilst the second was found only on the Pacific slope. AFLP diversity was partitioned primarily within populations (80.5%) and small but significant between-population differentiation was detected (ΦST = 0.195). The relationships between populations fitted an isolation by distance model when an ecological distance metric linking populations through suitable habitat was used, and indicated gene flow around a central mountain range. In combination with the cpDNA data, these data suggest that pollen flow around the mountain range is maintained whilst seed flow appears to be more restricted and cpDNA structure is more probably a consequence of historical population processes. Spanish Cedar, Cedrela odorata L., is a globally important timber species which has been severely exploited in Central America for over 200 years. Populations from throughout its range in Costa Rica were analysed using PCR-RFLP and AFLP. Two cpDNA haplotypes were identified and, in all but a single case, populations were fixed for one haplotype. Generally, haplotypes were distributed exclusively between different habitat zones (wet and dry), indicating the likely presence of two ecotypes, as previous studies had concluded. AFLP analysis (AMOVA) confirmed the genetic divergence of ecotypes (83.5% between ecotypes) and showed that dry ecotype populations maintained almost twice as much diversity as wet ecotype populations (h - 0.093 and 0.056 respectively).
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available