Data from: Hidden founder effects: small-scale spatial genetic structure in recently established populations of the grassland specialist plant Anthyllis vulneraria
Helsen, Kenny; Jacquemyn, Hans; Honnay, Olivier (2015), Data from: Hidden founder effects: small-scale spatial genetic structure in recently established populations of the grassland specialist plant Anthyllis vulneraria, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.vh6pd
The long-term establishment success of founder plant populations has been commonly assessed based on the measures of population genetic diversity and among population genetic differentiation, with founder populations expected to carry sufficient genetic diversity when population establishment is the result of many colonists from multiple source populations (the ‘migrant pool’ colonization model). Theory, however, predicts that, after initial colonization, rapid population expansion may result in a fast increase in the extent of spatial genetic structure (SGS), independent of extant genetic diversity. This SGS can reduce long-term population viability by increasing inbreeding. Using 12 microsatellite markers, we inferred colonization patterns in four recent populations of the grassland specialist plant Anthyllis vulneraria and compared the extent of SGS between recently established and old populations. Assignment analyses of the individuals of recent population based on the genetic composition of nine adjacent putative source populations suggested the occurrence of the ‘migrant pool’ colonization model, further confirmed by high genetic diversity within and low genetic differentiation among recent populations. Population establishment, however, resulted in the build-up of strong SGS, most likely as a result of spatially restricted recruitment of the progeny of initial colonists. Although reduced, significant SGS was nonetheless observed to persist in old populations. The presence of SGS was in all populations associated with elevated inbreeding coefficients, potentially affecting the long-term viability of these populations. In conclusion, this study illustrates the importance of studying SGS next to population genetic diversity and differentiation to adequately infer colonization patterns and long-term establishment success of plant species.