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Type: Journal article
Title: The utility and limitations of chloroplast DNA analysis for identifying native British oak stands and for guiding replanting strategy
Author: Lowe, A.
Munro, R.
Samuel, S.
Cottrell, J.
Citation: Forestry, 2004; 77(4):335-347
Publisher: Oxford Univ Press
Issue Date: 2004
ISSN: 0015-752X
1464-3626
Statement of
Responsibility: 
Andrew Lowe, Robert Munro, Sam Samuel and Joan Cottrell
Abstract: We report a method using variation in the chloroplast genome (cpDNA) to test whether oak stands of unknown provenance are of native and/or local origin. As an example, a sample of test oaks, of mostly unknown status in relation to nativeness and localness, were surveyed for cpDNA type. The sample comprised 126 selected trees, derived from 16 British seed stands, and 75 trees, selected for their superior phenotype (201 tree samples in total). To establish whether these two test groups are native and local, their cpDNA type was compared with that of material from known autochthonous origin (results of a previous study which examined variation in 1076 trees from 224 populations distributed across Great Britain). In the previous survey of autochthonous material, four cpDNA types were identified as native; thus if a test sample possessed a new haplotype then it could be classed as non-native. Every one of the 201 test samples possessed one of the four cpDNA types found within the autochthonous sample. Therefore none could be proven to be introduced and, on this basis, was considered likely to be native. The previous study of autochthonous material also found that cpDNA variation was highly structured geographically and, therefore, if the cpDNA type of the test sample did not match that of neighbouring autochthonous trees then it could be considered to be non-local. A high proportion of the seed stand group (44.2 per cent) and the phenotypically superior trees (58.7 per cent) possessed a cpDNA haplotype which matched that of the neighbouring autochthonous trees and, therefore, can be considered as local, or at least cannot be proven to be introduced. The remainder of the test sample could be divided into those which did not grow in an area of overall dominance (18.7 per cent of seed stand trees and 28 per cent of phenotypically superior) and those which failed to match the neighbouring autochthonous haplotype (37.1 per cent and 13.3 per cent, respectively). Most of the non-matching test samples were located within 50 km of an area dominated by a matching autochthonous haplotype (96.0 per cent and 93.5 per cent, respectively), and potentially indicates only local transfer. Whilst such genetic fingerprinting tests have proven useful for assessing the origin of stands of unknown provenance, there are potential limitations to using a marker from the chloroplast genome (mostly adaptively neutral) for classifying seed material into categories which have adaptive implications. These limitations are discussed, particularly within the context of selecting adaptively superior material for restocking native forests.
Description: © 2004 by Institute of Chartered Foresters
RMID: 0020071423
DOI: 10.1093/forestry/77.4.335
Appears in Collections:Earth and Environmental Sciences publications
Environment Institute Leaders publications

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