Genetic diversity and genetic structure of Decalobanthus boisianusin Hainan Island, China.
Decalobanthus boisianus is a native plant of Hainan Island, China, which has caused considerable damage to tropical forest ecosystems in recent decades. Understanding the genetic diversity and structure of this species can facilitate uncovering the molecular mechanism of its invasive ability. Here, we collected 77 individuals of D. boisianus spanning 8 distribution areas with a gradient of human disturbance intensity (i.e., low, moderate, and high disturbance intensity groups) to assess patterns of genetic diversity and structure using inter simple sequence repeat (ISSR) markers. We found that a total of 220 loci were scored with 13 primers using ISSR methods, and that 198 loci were polymorphic. The genetic diversity of D. boisianus among these eight forests decreased with increasing human disturbance intensity. Over 70% of the total genetic variation was present within populations, while less than 30% of variation was found among populations. There was a high gene flow (1.27) among them due to a lack of effective geographic barriers. The mean Nei's genetic distance of D. boisianus populations was found to be relatively small (i.e., 0.07), and the average genetic similarity of the eight populations was high (i.e., 0.93). Our findings indicate that the genetic diversity of D. boisianus correlated to human disturbance density, and that D. boisianus populations in Hainan Island have frequent gene exchange. We suggest that reduce deforestation to decrease human disturbance may be a good way to prevent the invasion of D. boisianus.