Brevia

Effective Seed Dispersal Across a Fragmented Landscape

Science  03 Feb 2006:
Vol. 311, Issue 5761, pp. 628
DOI: 10.1126/science.1121543

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Abstract

The role of seed dispersal in maintaining genetic connectivity among forest fragments has largely been ignored because gene flow by pollen is expected to predominate. By using genealogical reconstruction, we investigated gene flow after establishment of seeds in a wind-pollinated, wind-dispersed tree. Our data show that seed dispersal is the main vector of gene flow among remnants and that long-distance dispersal is common across a chronically fragmented landscape. The relative importance of seed-mediated gene flow may have been underemphasized in other fragmented systems, and diagnosing the response of forest trees to current anthropogenic disturbances requires the assessment of phenomena after establishment.

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