Patterns of Gene Flow inEncholirium horridumL.B.Sm., a Monocarpic Species of Bromeliaceae From Brazil

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Abstract

Encholirium horridum is a bromeliad that occurs exclusively on inselbergs in the Atlantic Forest biome of Brazil. These rock outcrops form natural islands that isolate populations from each other. We investigated gene flow by pollen through paternity analyses of a bromeliad population in an area of approximately 2 ha in Espírito Santo State, Brazil. To that end, seed rosettes and seedlings were genotyped using nuclear microsatellite loci. A plot was also established from the same population and specimens were genotyped to evaluate their fine-scale spatial genetic structure (SGS) through analyses of spatial autocorrelation and clonal growth. Paternity analysis indicated that 80% of the attributed progenitors of the genotyped seedlings were from inside the study area. The pollen dispersal distances within the area were restricted (mean distance of 45.5 m, varying from 3 to 156 m) and fine-scale SGS was weak (Fij = 0.0122, P < 0.001; Sp = 0.009). Clonal growth was found to be a rare event, supporting the monocarpy of this species.

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