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Seed Bank Influences on Genetic Diversity in the Rare Annual Clarkia springvillensis (Onagraceae)

Kimberlie A. McCue and Timothy P. Holstford
American Journal of Botany
Vol. 85, No. 1 (Jan., 1998), pp. 30-36
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2446551
Page Count: 7
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Seed Bank Influences on Genetic Diversity in the Rare Annual Clarkia springvillensis (Onagraceae)
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Abstract

The potential for seed banks to significantly affect the genetic structure of populations was recognized nearly two decades ago. However, there has been little empirical work that examines the problem. In this study, we explore the possibility that the seed bank of a rare annual, Clarkia springvillensis, could act as a buffer against the genetic consequences of small population size. We examined the adult and seed bank cohort in three natural populations. The seed bank was surveyed by collecting soil cores twice during the growing season: postgermination and post seed set. The genetic constitution of the adults and seed bank cohort was determined by examining eight polymorphic isozyme loci via starch gel electrophoresis. The total genetic diversity in the seed bank (Ht = 0 355) was significantly higher than in the adults (Ht = 0 260). Additionally, Fst estimates of genetic differentiation among populations showed significantly less differentiation among population seed banks (Fst = 0.008) than among adults (Fst = 0 045). These results are in agreement with the expectation that seed banks would act to maintain genetic diversity in populations as well as have the effect of slowing differentiation of populations.

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