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Title: Skewed morph ratios lead to lower genetic diversity of the heterostylous Primula veris in fragmented grasslands
Author(s): Kaldra, M.
Träger, SylvainLook up in the Integrated Authority File of the German National Library
Reinula, I.
Keller, B.
Conti, E.
Aavik, TsipeLook up in the Integrated Authority File of the German National Library
Issue Date: 2023
Type: Article
Language: English
Abstract: Populations of heterostylous plant species are ideally composed of equal frequencies of two (distylous) or three (tristylous) morphologically different floral morphs. Intra-morph incompatibility helps to avoid inbreeding and to maintain genetic diversity, supporting plant fitness and long-term viability. Habitat fragmentation can lead to skewed morph ratios and thereby reduce the abundance of compatible mates. This, in turn, can result in a loss of genetic diversity. We tested whether the genetic diversity of heterostylous plants is affected by morph ratio bias using populations of the distylous grassland plant Primula veris in recently fragmented grasslands. We recorded morph frequencies and population sizes in 30 study populations of P. veris on two Estonian islands characterised by different degrees of habitat fragmentation. Examining variation of thousands of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and heterostyly-specific genetic markers, we quantified overall and morph-specific genetic diversity and differentiation in these populations. Morph frequencies deviated more in smaller populations. Skewed morph ratios had a negative effect on the genetic diversity of P. veris in more fragmented grasslands. In the populations of better-connected grassland systems, genetic differentiation among S-morphs was higher than among L-morphs. Our study shows that deviations from morph balance are stronger in small populations and have a negative impact on the genetic diversity of the distylous plant P. veris. Together with the direct negative effects of habitat loss and decreased population size on the genetic diversity of plants, morph ratio bias may intensify the process of genetic erosion, thus exacerbating the local extinction of heterostylous species.
Open Access: Open access publication
License: (CC BY 4.0) Creative Commons Attribution 4.0(CC BY 4.0) Creative Commons Attribution 4.0
Journal Title: Plant biology
Publisher: Wiley- Blackwell
Publisher Place: Oxford [u.a.]
Volume: 25
Issue: 5
Original Publication: 10.1111/plb.13531
Page Start: 703
Page End: 714
Appears in Collections:Open Access Publikationen der MLU