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Genetic diversity in populations of Erica andevalensis, a vulnerable metallophyte species from the Iberian Peninsula

Author(s): M. Bandeira de Albuquerque | S. Rodríguez-Echeverría | H. Freitas

Journal: Web Ecology
ISSN 2193-3081

Volume: 8;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 135;
Date: 2008;
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Erica andevalensis is an endemic vulnerable species that grows in metal-polluted soils from the Iberian Pyrite Belt. The genetic diversity of six E. andevalensis populations from Portugal and Spain was studied using PCR Inter-simple sequence repeat (ISSR). The obtained data showed that a) there is a very low genetic diversity within the populations from Portugal, and b) the populations sampled in Portugal are genetically different from the Spanish populations. The lack of genetic diversity in the Portuguese populations suggests the existence of founder effects and subsequent genetic isolation. Plant genetic diversity was also low in the Spanish populations, although the analysis showed that the studied populations were different among them. A Mantel test of the correlation between genetic and geographic distances was significant evidencing the genetic isolation by distance of the studied populations. The distinctiveness and low genetic diversity of the Portuguse populations emphasizes the importance of taking measures for their conservation.
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