Reproductive Dominance of Pasture Trees in a Fragmented Tropical Forest Mosaic

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Science  03 Jul 1998:
Vol. 281, Issue 5373, pp. 103-105
DOI: 10.1126/science.281.5373.103

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Tropical forest fragmentation threatens biodiversity, yet basic information on population responses for major groups such as plants is lacking. Hypervariable genetic markers were used to reconstruct a population-level pedigree in fragmented tropical forest for the treeSymphonia globulifera. Though seedlings occurred only in remnant forest, the pedigree showed that most seedlings had been produced by sequentially fewer adults in pasture, creating a genetic bottleneck. The pedigree also implicated shifts in the foraging of animals that disperse pollen and seed in a secondary constriction of the bottleneck. These results suggest that tropical conservation strategies should anticipate complex, cryptic responses to fragmentation.

  • * Present address: Department of Botany, MRC-166, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC 20560, USA.

  • To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: aldrich.preston{at}

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