Invasive Species Compendium

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Abstract

Clonal and spatial genetic structure within populations of a coastal plant, Carex kobomugi (Cyperaceae).

Abstract

Clarification of clonal growth pattern is critical for understanding the population dynamics and reproductive system evolution of clonal plant species. The contribution of clonality to the spatial genetic structure (SGS) within populations is also an important issue. I examined the spatial distribution of genetic variability within two populations of the coastal plant Carex kobomugi using seven microsatellite loci. Genotyping of 226 and 140 ramets within 14×40 m and 14×34 m plots on two populations revealed 36 and 33 multilocus genotypes, respectively. To quantify the extent of intermingling among clones, for each genet, I calculated the dominance of ramets belonging to a particular genet within a spatial range of the genet. Furthermore, I analyzed spatial distribution of genotypes within 2×2 m and 1×2 m quadrats using second-order spatial statistics. These analyses indicated that clones are highly intermingled, suggesting a low level of spatial interaction among clones. Spatial autocorrelation analysis of kinship coefficient including all pairs of ramets showed significantly stronger SGS than analysis considering only pairs between different genets. I conclude that clonal propagation largely contributes to SGS at a fine scale.