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Recruitment of a genotyped Quercus robur L. seedling cohort in an expanding oak forest stand: diversity, dispersal, and performance across habitats

Authors
  • Gerzabek, Gabriel1
  • Oddou-Muratorio, Sylvie2
  • Hampe, Arndt1
  • 1 BIOGECO, Cestas, 33610, France , Cestas (France)
  • 2 URFM “Ecology of Mediterranean Forests”, Avignon, 84000, France , Avignon (France)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Annals of Forest Science
Publisher
Springer Paris
Publication Date
Aug 10, 2020
Volume
77
Issue
3
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1007/s13595-020-00979-5
Source
Springer Nature
Keywords
Disciplines
  • Establishment of second-growth forests in human landscapes: ecological mechanisms and genetic conseq
License
Yellow

Abstract

Key messageFew studies have linked the origin of dispersed tree seeds with their post-dispersal fate. We show that habitat-dependent mortality in a pedunculate oak (Quercus roburL.) seedling cohort reshapes the effective fecundity of individual mother trees but has little effect on the cohort’s genetic diversity.ContextInitial tree recruitment plays a key role in forest regeneration, yet little is known on how patterns of recruit mortality feed back on the fecundity of reproducing trees.AimsTo investigate how among-habitat variation in seedling arrival and survival alters initial patterns of genetic diversity and maternal reproductive success.MethodsWe genotyped a pedunculate oak seedling cohort (n = 809) and monitored it over 3 years. The mother trees of 81% of the seedlings were identified through parentage analysis. Seedlings were assigned to one of three habitats (broadleaved forest, pine plantation, or open area).ResultsBroadleaved forest received most seedlings (≈ 65%) but their survival was reduced by a third compared with pine plantations or open areas. Thus, mother trees dispersing many descendants to broadleaved forest suffered a disproportionate reduction of their reproductive success. Genetic diversity did not vary among habitats, nor over the monitoring period.ConclusionThe quality of seed dispersal, in terms of delivery sites, can considerably influence the reproductive success of individual mother trees without affecting the overall genetic diversity of the recruits.

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