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Density, Dispersion and Population Genetics of a Silene latifolia Seed Bank from Southwestern Virginia

Patricia A. Peroni and R. Todd Armstrong
The Journal of the Torrey Botanical Society
Vol. 128, No. 4 (Oct. - Dec., 2001), pp. 400-406
Published by: Torrey Botanical Society
DOI: 10.2307/3088672
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3088672
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.
Density, Dispersion and Population Genetics of a Silene latifolia Seed Bank from Southwestern Virginia
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Abstract

White campion (Silene latifolia) is a dioecious perennial that is the focus of an on-going meta population study in southwestern Virginia. In order to determine if a population in this study region maintained a dormant seed bank we collected soil cores, placed them in a greenhouse, and monitored emergence of white campion seedlings. The timing of soil core collection ensured that all white campion seeds in the soil were $\geq\!\!10\>mo$ old. We compared the genetic composition of the seed bank with that of the above ground plants and the seed crop produced that year by scoring individuals from each cohort for sex and genotype at 7 polymorphic isozyme loci. A total of 99 white campion seedlings emerged from the 70 cores collected (mean density of seedlings per core = $1.41\pm4.37$, n = 70 cores; 535.29 seedlings/m2). The frequency distribution for seedling density per core deviated significantly from that predicted by a Poisson distribution, and the results of this analysis indicate a clumped dispersion pattern. The observed genotype frequencies in each cohort did not differ significantly from Hardy-Weinberg predictions, and allele frequencies did not differ significantly between the above and below ground cohorts. Sex ratios in each cohort did not deviate significantly from 1:1. The results indicate that this white campion population maintains a dormant seed bank that provides an unbiased reservoir of genetic variation for the characters we investigated.

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