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Spatial isolation and genetic differentiation in naturally fragmented plant populations of the Swiss Alps.

  • Academic Journal
  • Journal of Plant Ecology; Sep2008, Vol. 1 Issue 3, p149-159, 11p
  • Aims: The effect of anthropogenic landscape fragmentation on the genetic diversity and adaptive potential of plant populations is a major issue in conservation biology. However, little is known about the partitioning of genetic diversity in alpine species, which occur in naturally fragmented habitats. Here, we investigate molecular patterns of three alpine plants (Epilobium fleischeri, Geum reptans and Campanula thyrsoides) across Switzerland and ask whether spatial isolation has led to high levels of population differentiation, increasing over distance, and a decrease of within-population variability. We further hypothesize that the contrasting potential for long-distance dispersal (LDD) of seed in these species will considerably influence and explain diversity partitioning. [ABSTRACT FROM PUBLISHER]
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