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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2012

Effects of male fecundity, interindividual distance and anisotropic pollen dispersal on mating success in a Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris) seed orchard

Wennström, U; Torimaru, T; Lindgren, Dag; Wang, X-R

Abstract

Quantifying the effect of pollen dispersal and flowering traits on mating success is essential for understanding evolutionary responses to changing environments and establishing strategies for forest tree breeding. This study examined, quantitatively, the effects of male fecundity, interindividual distance and anisotropic pollen dispersal on the mating success of Scots pine (Pious sylvestris), utilizing a well-mapped Scots pine seed orchard. Paternity analysis of 1021 seeds sampled from 87 trees representing 28 clones showed that 53% of the seeds had at least one potential pollen parent within the orchard. Pronounced variation in paternal contribution was observed among clones. Variations in pollen production explained up to 78% of the variation in mating success, which was 11.2 times greater for clones producing the largest amount of pollen than for clones producing the least pollen. Mating success also varied with intertree distance and direction, which explained up to 28% of the variance. Fertilization between neighboring trees 2.3 m apart was 2.4 times more frequent than between trees 4.6 m apart, and up to 12.4 times higher for trees downwind of the presumed prevailing wind direction than for upwind trees. The effective number of pollen donors recorded in the seed orchard (12.2) was smaller than the theoretical expectation (19.7). Based on the empirical observations, a mating model that best describes the gene dispersal pattern in clonal seed orchards was constructed. Heredity (2012) 108, 312-321; doi:10.1038/hdy.2011.76; published online 7 September 2011

Keywords

anisotropic pollen dispersal; male fecundity; distance effect; mating model; paternity assignment

Published in

Heredity
2012, Volume: 108, number: 3, pages: 312-321
Publisher: NATURE PUBLISHING GROUP