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Does the seed bank contribute to the build-up of a genetic extinction debt in the grassland perennial Campanula rotundifolia?
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography. Södertörn University, Stockholm, Sweden.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography.
Number of Authors: 4
2017 (English)In: Annals of Botany, ISSN 0305-7364, E-ISSN 1095-8290, Vol. 120, no 3, 373-385 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background and Aims

Habitat fragmentation threatens global biodiversity. Many plant species persist in habitat fragments via persistent life cycle stages such as seed banks, generating a species extinction debt. Here, seed banks are hypothesized to cause a temporal delay in the expected loss of genetic variation, which can be referred to as a genetic extinction debt, as a possible mechanism behind species extinction debts.

Methods

Fragmented grassland populations of Campanula rotundifolia were examined for evidence of a genetic extinction debt, investigating if the seed bank contributed to the extinction debt build-up. The genetic make-up of 15 above- and below-ground populations was analysed in relation to historical and current levels of habitat fragmentation, both separately and combined.

Key Results

Genetic diversity was highest in above-ground populations, though below-ground populations contained 8 % of unique alleles that were absent above-ground. Above-ground genetic diversity and composition were related to historical patch size and connectivity, but not current patch characteristics, suggesting the presence of a genetic extinction debt in the above-ground populations. No such relationships were found for the below-ground populations. Genetic diversity measures still showed a response to historical but not present landscape characteristics when combining genetic diversity of the above- and below-ground populations.

Conclusions

The fragmented C. rotundifolia populations exhibited a genetic extinction debt. However, the role of the seed banks in the build-up of this extinction debt is probably small, since the limited, unique genetic diversity of the seed bank alone seems unable to counter the detrimental effects of habitat fragmentation on the population genetic structure of C. rotundifolia.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. Vol. 120, no 3, 373-385 p.
Keyword [en]
Extinction debt, genetic diversity, habitat fragmentation, historical ecology, landscape, microsatellites, seed bank, semi-natural grassland
National Category
Biological Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-147876DOI: 10.1093/aob/mcx057ISI: 000410236600007PubMedID: 28645141OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-147876DiVA: diva2:1150706
Available from: 2017-10-19 Created: 2017-10-19 Last updated: 2017-10-19Bibliographically approved

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