Skip to main content
Dryad logo

Data from: Genetic diversity loss and homogenization in urban trees: the case of Tilia × europaea in Belgium and the Netherlands

Citation

Vanden Broeck, An et al. (2018), Data from: Genetic diversity loss and homogenization in urban trees: the case of Tilia × europaea in Belgium and the Netherlands, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.jf2k153

Abstract

Urban trees form a vital component of sustainable cities but the use of a restricted range of species and genotypes may pose a risk to global biodiversity. Despite several studies investigating tree species diversity, intraspecific genetic diversity of urban trees remains largely unexplored. Here, we characterized the genetic diversity of Tilia × europaea, one of the most widely planted urban tree species in Northwest Europe. We compared the genotypic diversity of historical plantings of Tilia spp. from the 17th century with the genotypic diversity of currently available planting stock in Belgium and the Netherlands. In total, 129 trees were sampled and genotyped with 14 microsatellite loci and 150 polymorphic Amplified Fragment Length Polymorphism markers. In Northwest Europe, homogenization of urban T. × europaea plantings already started at the 17th century. Genetic diversity within contemporary commercial planting stocks was extremely narrow and consisted mainly of two clones, sold under the name ‘Pallida’ and ‘Zwarte linde’. The genetic diversity found within the historical plantings was about four times higher than in the current commercial planting stocks. We recommend that tree nurseries should enlarge the genetic diversity of T. × europaea commercial planting stocks. The old clones have shown long-term disease resistance and could provide tree breeders with the valuable new genetic material. The range of available Tilia species and genotypes needs to be explored in future urban tree planning to optimize desired ecosystem services.

Usage Notes

Location

Northwest Europe