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Title: Genetic structure of the Canarian palm tree (Phoenix canariensis) at the island scale: does the ‘island within islands’ concept apply to species with high colonisation ability?
Authors: Saro, I. 
García-Verdugo, C.
González Pérez,Miguel Ángel 
Naranjo-Cigala, A. 
Santana, A. 
Sosa, Pedro A. 
UNESCO Clasification: 2417 Biología vegetal (botánica)
Keywords: Arecaceae
Canary Islands
Oceanic islands
Spatial genetic structure, et al
Issue Date: 2019
Publisher: 1435-8603
Journal: Plant Biology 
Abstract: Oceanic islands are dynamic settings that often promote within-island patterns of strong population differentiation. Species with high colonisation abilities, however, are less likely to be affected by genetic barriers, but island size may impact on species genetic structure regardless of dispersal ability. The aim of the present study was to identify the patterns and factors responsible for the structure of genetic diversity at the island scale in Phoenix canariensis, a palm species with high dispersal potential. To this end, we conducted extensive population sampling on the three Canary Islands where the species is more abundant and assessed patterns of genetic variation at eight microsatellite loci, considering different within-island scales. Our analyses revealed significant genetic structure on each of the three islands analysed, but the patterns and level of structure differed greatly among islands. Thus, genetic differentiation fitted an isolation-by-distance pattern on islands with high population densities (La Gomera and Gran Canaria), but such a pattern was not found on Tenerife due to strong isolation between colonised areas. In addition, we found a positive correlation between population geographic isolation and fine-scale genetic structure. This study highlights that island size is not necessarily a factor causing strong population differentiation on large islands, whereas high colonisation ability does not always promote genetic connectivity among neighbouring populations. The spatial distribution of populations (i.e. landscape occupancy) can thus be a more important driver of plant genetic structure than other island, or species′ life-history attributes.
ISSN: 1435-8603
DOI: 10.1111/plb.12913
Source: Plant Biology [ISSN 1435-8603], v. 21 (1), p. 101-109
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