Australian Systematic Botany Australian Systematic Botany Society
Taxonomy, biogeography and evolution of plants
RESEARCH ARTICLE

Genetic differentiation among and within three red mahoganies (series Annulares), Eucalyptus pellita, E. resinifera and E. scias (Myrtaceae)

Son Le A C , Catherine Nock A , Michael Henson B and Mervyn Shepherd A D E

A Centre for Plant Conservation Genetics, Southern Cross University, Lismore, NSW 2480, Australia.

B Forests NSW, PO Box J19, Coffs Harbour Jetty, NSW 2450, Australia.

C Forest Science Institute of Vietnam, Dongngac, Tuliem, Hanoi.

D Cooperative Research Centre for Forestry, Southern Cross University, Lismore, NSW 2480, Australia.

E Corresponding author. Email: mervyn.shepherd@scu.edu.au

Australian Systematic Botany 22(5) 332-343 http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/SB09004
Submitted: 16 January 2009  Accepted: 28 July 2009   Published: 28 October 2009

Abstract

The red mahogany group (Eucalyptus ser. Annulares Blakely) includes some of the most important commercial species (i.e. Eucalyptus urophylla S.T.Blake) worldwide for forestry in the subtropics and tropics. However, the taxonomic status of some species in this group is unclear and the relationship among and genetic structuring within some species is unresolved. The present study examined genetic variation at 13 microsatellite loci in E. pellita F.Muell., E. resinifera Smith and E. scias L.Johnson & K.Hill. Despite close geographical proximity and natural hybridisation in northern Queensland, E. resinifera and E. pellita remain genetically distinct as taxa. Within E. pellita, two genetic groups were clearly resolved, one from New Guinea and one from Queensland (Cape York Peninsula populations were not sampled). Geographic structuring was also evident in E. resinifera, with northern Queensland populations separating from those from Fraser Island southwards. Ecological factors and species disjunctions were implicated in the genetic substructuring of these two taxa because patterns of geographic variation aligned with biogeographical regions. E. scias was indistinguishable from southern E. resinifera and its three subspecies could not be resolved.


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