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Variation in leaf morphology and chloroplast DNA in Ulmus glabra in the northern suture zone: Effects of distinct glacial refugia

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Based on field observations of leaf morphology and variation in chloroplast DNA (cpDNA) in Scandinavia, Norway has been suggested as a suture zone for elm ( Ulmus glabra ) from different glacial refugia. The aim of this paper was to study the geographical concordance between the maternally inherited cpDNA markers (16 populations) and the assumed polygenic and biparentally inherited leaf traits, studied in a field trial (five populations). Two cpDNA haplotypes were detected, but without geographical structure. Leaf traits showed a gradient from typical ssp. montana traits (relatively long, long tapering, absent acute lobes) in western populations to more ssp. glabra -like traits (relatively broad, short tapering, acute lobes present) in eastern and northern populations. The overall geographical concordance between haplotype distribution and leaf traits was limited, probably owing to different inheritance of cpDNA and leaf traits, but the spatial variation in leaf traits and cpDNA in a subset of common populations ( n =5) was compatible with a dual migration of elm to Scandinavia. Both measures suggest a broad suture zone, covering the entire distribution of elm in Norway. The results are discussed in relation to the use of maternally inherited markers, such as cpDNA, in delimiting suture zones.

Keywords: PCR-RFLP; cpDNA; phytogeography; postglacial history

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Norwegian Forest Research Institute, Fana, Norway 2: Norwegian Forest Research Institute, Ås, Norway

Publication date: 2006-04-01

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