In self-incompatible clonal plants, the spread of individual plants can exacerbate mate limitation to the point that it becomes a serious constraint on long-term population persistence, especially in small, isolated populations. In such species, it may be necessary to introduce new genetic material from other populations to restore seed production, a strategy termed "genetic rescue". In this study we assess the potential pertinence of such genetic rescue in the clonal perennial plant Convolvulus lineatus L., whose populations are often highly reduced in spatial extent and are currently being fragmented by land development projects in Mediterranean France. To do so, we quantify fruit production in a range of populations of different size over four years and perform a series of hand-pollination experiments in natural populations to assess whether fruit set is limited by mate availability. We found that C. lineatus is a self-incompatible species that shows extremely low values of fruit set in natural populations and that a principal cause of this low fruit set is a lack of compatible pollen. This may be primarily due to clonal spread that causes individual populations to be comprised of patches containing one or very few incompatibility types. In small populations fragmented by human activities and which show an absence of fruit production, we thus argue that genetic rescue represents a promising conservation management strategy to avoid inevitable long-term future population decline. We discuss how best to introduce new genetic material into the study populations.

Mate limitation in populations of the endangered Convolvulus lineatus L.: A case for genetic rescue?

FISOGNI, ALESSANDRO;
2013

Abstract

In self-incompatible clonal plants, the spread of individual plants can exacerbate mate limitation to the point that it becomes a serious constraint on long-term population persistence, especially in small, isolated populations. In such species, it may be necessary to introduce new genetic material from other populations to restore seed production, a strategy termed "genetic rescue". In this study we assess the potential pertinence of such genetic rescue in the clonal perennial plant Convolvulus lineatus L., whose populations are often highly reduced in spatial extent and are currently being fragmented by land development projects in Mediterranean France. To do so, we quantify fruit production in a range of populations of different size over four years and perform a series of hand-pollination experiments in natural populations to assess whether fruit set is limited by mate availability. We found that C. lineatus is a self-incompatible species that shows extremely low values of fruit set in natural populations and that a principal cause of this low fruit set is a lack of compatible pollen. This may be primarily due to clonal spread that causes individual populations to be comprised of patches containing one or very few incompatibility types. In small populations fragmented by human activities and which show an absence of fruit production, we thus argue that genetic rescue represents a promising conservation management strategy to avoid inevitable long-term future population decline. We discuss how best to introduce new genetic material into the study populations.
Regina Berjano;Perrine Gauthier;Alessandro Fisogni;David Doblas;Virginie Pons;John D. Thompson
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/192055
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