Data from: Genetic variation and structure in the neotropical tree, Manilkara zapota (L) P. Royen (Sapotaceae) used by the ancient Maya
Thompson, K. M.; Culley, Theresa M.; Zumberger, A. M.; Lentz, D. L. (2016), Data from: Genetic variation and structure in the neotropical tree, Manilkara zapota (L) P. Royen (Sapotaceae) used by the ancient Maya, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.244b8
Manilkara zapota is a tropical tree species that was used by the ancient Maya in construction of their temples and as a source for fruit. Although this has been supported by ethnographic and paleoethnobotanical data, we used genetic approaches to estimate variation and structure in modern populations of this neotropical tree species to discern if genetic patterns were consistent with earlier influences of ancient Maya management or if they could be explained by the natural history of the species. Nine microsatellite markers, consisting of seven novel markers and two markers identified in a related species, were used to characterize the genetic diversity and population genetic structure in three populations of M. zapota collected from reforested, historically urbanized ancient Maya ceremonial centers in Guatemala and Belize, from home gardens in Guatemala, and from a number of cultivars. Levels of genetic variation were slightly higher in forest populations (H O = 0.447) than in gardens (0.430) and cultivated varieties of M. zapota (0.351). We observed low but significant population substructuring (θ = 0.01) between sites 90 km apart, and minimal evidence of inbreeding. Substantial levels of genetic diversity with minimal genetic structure in M. zapota are consistent with movement of the ancient Maya as they possibly carried fruits and seedlings during immigration, but they may more likely reflect natural processes such as seed and pollen being dispersed widely throughout the tropical forest.