Australian Journal of Botany Australian Journal of Botany Society
Southern hemisphere botanical ecosystems
RESEARCH ARTICLE

Genetic diversity and regional identity in the Australian remnant Nothofagus moorei

K. J. Taylor A , A. J. Lowe A , R. J. Hunter B , T. Ridgway A , P. M. Gresshoff C and M. Rossetto D E
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A School of Life Sciences, University of Queensland, St Lucia, Qld 4072, Australia.

B National Parks and Wildlife Service, Coffs Harbour, NSW 2480, Australia.

C ARC Centre of Excellence for Integrative Legume Research, University of Queensland, St Lucia, Qld 4072, Australia.

D National Herbarium of NSW, Botanic Gardens Trust, Mrs Macquaries Road, Sydney, NSW 2000, Australia.

E Corresponding author. Email: maurizio.rossetto@rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au

Australian Journal of Botany 53(5) 437-444 https://doi.org/10.1071/BT04215
Submitted: 15 December 2004  Accepted: 4 April 2005   Published: 11 August 2005

Abstract

Nothofagus moorei (F.Muell.) Krasser has a disjunct and narrow distribution in south-eastern Australian cool temperate rainforest. To assess the conservation-genetic priorities for this species, the genetic diversity of 20 populations sampled from the largest remnant patches at northern and southern distributional extremes, the McPherson and Barrington ranges (a total of 146 individuals), was investigated by using inter simple sequence repeats (ISSR). Regeneration in northern regions of N. moorei has been documented to be predominantly by vegetative means, but our results indicate little evidence of clonality outside the multi-stemmed rings of trees. In addition, genetic diversity was considerably higher in the northern (McPherson, h = 0.1613) than in the southern range (Barrington, h = 0.1159), and genetic differentiation was significantly positively correlated with geographic distance in the former region, but not the latter. Total intraspecific variation was moderate, as measured by Shannon’s diversity index, I = 0.2719, and Nei’s gene diversity, h = 0.1672, and is considered at the high end of spectrum for estimates of narrow endemic species. An analysis of molecular variation indicated that the majority of genetic variation is partitioned among individuals within population (60%; P < 0.001), rather than among populations within regions (10%; P < 0.001). However, a large and significant component of the measured diversity was partitioned between northern and southern regions (29%; P < 0.001). Several hypotheses are outlined to explain these differences and management implications are discussed. However, given the narrow range, poor dispersal mechanism and restriction to cool temperate rainforest, the continued existence of N. moorei is most threatened by environmental instability and habitat loss resulting from global climate change. In this context the northern regions of the species are most at risk and extinction of such populations would lead to a significant loss of genetic variation for the species as a whole.


Acknowledgments

The authors acknowledge the financial support of the New South Wales National Parks and Wildlife Service. We are grateful to National Parks from both New South Wales and Queensland for allowing this work to be undertaken in protected areas. We also thank Trevor Wardill, Kim Taylor, Dave Sparks and Alex Floyd for assistance and support with various aspects of this project.


References


Bale CL, Williams JB (1993) Composition and classification of Nothofagus moorei communities in northern NSW. Australian Systematic Botany 6, 429–440.
CrossRef |
open url image1

Carpenter RJ, Hill RS, Greenwood DR, Partridge AD, Banks MA (2004) No snow in the mountains: Early Eocene plant fossils from Hotham Heights, Victoria, Australia. Australian Journal of Botany 52, 685–718.
CrossRef | open url image1

Dettmann ME, Pocknall DT, Romero EJ, Zamaloa M (1990) Nothofagidites Erdtman ex Potonie, 1960; a catalogue of species with notes on the paleogeographic distribution of Nothofagus (southern beech). New Zealand Geological Survey Paleontological Bulletin 60, 1–79. open url image1

Esselman EJ, Jianqiang L, Crawford DJ, Winduss JL, Wolfe AD (1999) Clonal diversity in the rare Calamagrostis porteri ssp. insperata (Poaceae): comparative results for allozymes and random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) and inter simple sequence repeat (ISSR) markers. Molecular Ecology 8, 443–451.
CrossRef | open url image1

Floyd, AG (1990). ‘Australian rainforests in New South Wales—Vols 1 and 2.’ (Surrey Beatty: Sydney)

Hamrick JL, Godt MJW, Sherman-Broyles SL (1992) Factors influencing levels of genetic diversity in woody plant species. New Forests 6, 95–124.
CrossRef | open url image1

Hewitt G (2000) The genetic legacy of the Quaternary ice ages. Nature 405, 907–913.
CrossRef | PubMed | open url image1

Hill RS (1992) Nothofagus: evolution from a southern perspective. Trends in Ecology & Evolution 7, 190–194.
CrossRef | open url image1

Hill RS (2001) Biogeography, evolution and palaeoecology of Nothofagus (Nothofagaceae): the contribution of fossil record. Australian Journal of Botany 49, 321–332.
CrossRef | open url image1

Hill, RS ,  and  Dettmann, ME (1996). Origin and diversification of the genus Nothofagus. In ‘The ecology and biogeography of forests’. pp. 11–24. (Yale University Press: London)

Howard, TM (1981). Southern closed forests. In ‘Australian vegetation’. pp. 102–120. (Cambridge University Press: London)

Huff DR, Peakall R, Smouse PE (1993) RAPD variation within and among populations of outcrossing buffalograss (Buchloë dactyloides (Nutt.) Engelm). Theoretical and Applied Genetics 86, 927–934.
CrossRef | open url image1

Hunter RJ (1988) On the beech: a study of adjoining Nothofagus moorei and other rainforest communities on the Mt Warning Shield. MSc Thesis (University of New England: Armidale, NSW)

Johnston RD, Lacey CJ (1983) Multi-stemmed trees in rainforest. Australian Journal of Botany 31, 189–195. open url image1

Lewontin RC (1972) The appointment of human diversity. Evolutionary Biology 6, 381–394. open url image1

Martin HA (1990) Tertiary climate and phytogeography in southeastern Australia. Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology 65, 47–55.
CrossRef | open url image1

Meyers N (1993) Latitudinal variation in the regeneration capacities of Nothofagus moorei populations at the species upper altitudinal range at the northern and southern extent of the species range. BSc(Honours) Thesis (University of Queensland: Brisbane)

Nei M (1973) Analysis of gene diversity in subdivided populations. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA 70, 3321–3323. open url image1

Page RDM (1996) TREEVIEW: an application to display phylogenetic trees on personal computers. Computer Applications in the Biosciences 12, 357–358.
PubMed |
open url image1

Peakall R , Smouse PE (2001) ‘GenAlEx V5.31: genetic analysis in Excel. Population genetic software for teaching and research.’ (http://www.anu.edu.au/BoZo/GenAlEx/) Australian National University, Australia.

Premoli AC (1997) Genetic variation in a geographically restricted and two widespread species of South American Nothofagus.  Journal of Biogeography 24, 883–892.
CrossRef | open url image1

Premoli AC (2003) Isozyme polymorphisms provide evidence of clinal variation with elevation in Nothofagus pumilio.  Journal of Heredity 94, 218–226.
CrossRef | PubMed | open url image1

Read, J ,  and  Brown, MJ (1996). Ecology of Australian Nothofagus forests. In ‘The ecology and biogeography of forests’. pp. 131–181. (Yale University Press: London)

Read J, Hill RS (1985) Dynamics of Nothofagus-dominated rainforest on mainland Australia and lowland Tasmania. Vegatatio 63, 67–78. open url image1

Rohlf, FJ (1993). ‘NTSYS pc. Numerical taxonomy and multivariate analysis system version 2.1.’ (State University of New York: Stony Brook, NY)

Scott K, Playford J (1996) DNA extractions techniques for PCR in rain forest plant species. BioTechniques 20, 974–978.
PubMed |
open url image1

Setoguchi H, Ono M, Doi Y, Koyama H, Tsuda M (1997) Molecular Phylogeny of Nothofagus (Nothofagaceae) based on the atpB–rbcL intergenic spacer of the chloroplast DNA. Journal of Plant Research 110, 469–484. open url image1

Swenson U, Hill RS, McLoughlin S (2001a) Biogeography of Nothofagus supports the sequence of Gondwana break-up. Taxon 50, 1025–1041. open url image1

Swenson U, Backlund A, McLoughlin S, Hill RS (2001b) Nothofagus biogeography revisited with special emphasis on the enigmatic distribution of subgenus Brassospora in New Caledonia. Cladistics 17, 28–47.
CrossRef | open url image1

Sydes MA, Peakall R (1998) Extensive clonality in the endangered shrub Haloragodendron lucasii (Haloragaceae) revealed by allozymes and RAPDs. Molecular Ecology 7, 87–93.
CrossRef | open url image1

Yeh, FC , Yang, R ,  and  Boyle, T (1999). ‘Popgene version 1.31. Microsoft window-based freeware for populations genetic analysis.’ (University of Alberta and Centre for International Forestry Research: Edmonton, Canada)

Zietkiewicz E, Rafalski A, Labuda E (1994) Genome fingerprinting by simple sequence repeat (SSR)-anchored polymerase chain reaction amplification. Genomics 20, 176–183.
CrossRef | PubMed | open url image1








Rent Article (via Deepdyve) Export Citation Cited By (10)