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Has modern Swedish forestry affected genetic diversity in Norway spruce stands?
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
2015 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 40 credits / 60 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Norway spruce is one of two dominating species in Swedish forestry and the most economically important tree species in Sweden. In order to preserve the ability to adapt to a changing environment and to keep populations healthy, genetic diversity has to be preserved. When choosing a small number of individuals from a natural stand to establish a seed orchard the population size decrease. With only a small number of genetically different individuals the risk of inbreeding increase. Furthermore if many clones of the same tree are used in one seed orchard there is also an increased risk selfing. The aim of this study was therefore to investigate whether genetic diversity in Norway spruce differs between age groups and if this can be attributed to forestry practices. All sampling was done from a single location in Västerbotten, Sweden and the different age groups were chosen to represent stands not affected by the modern forest industry to recently planted forests. The chosen age groups are young (12-18 years), intermediate (30-45 years), and old (above 85 years). From each age group 150 individuals were sampled. With genomic microsatellite markers each individual was genotyped at eight simple sequence repeat (SSR) loci. Results show an overall high genetic diversity with an average expected heterozygosity (He) at 0.842 and low genetic differentiation with an average fixation index among populations (FST) of 0.003. The genetic diversity of each age group was also high (He 0.832 to 0.843) and the inbreeding coefficient ranged from 0.061 in the old group to 0.078 in the intermediate group. The pairwise FST value was highest between the old group and the young group but the differentiation was only 0.005 (P=0.001). An analysis of molecular variance also showed that only 0.34% of the total genetic variance was explained by differences among age groups. This study found little evidence for a decrease in genetic diversity due to forestry practices and revealed high genetic diversity and low differentiation between the age groups, indicating a healthy population.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. , 11 p.
Keyword [en]
Picea abies, genetic differentiation, age groups, nuclear microsatellites, forestry
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-108056OAI: diva2:850826
Educational program
Master's Programme in Ecology
Available from: 2015-09-02 Created: 2015-09-02 Last updated: 2015-09-02Bibliographically approved

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