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Data from: Patterns of fine-scale spatial genetic structure and pollen dispersal in giant sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum)

Citation

DeSilva, Rainbow; Dodd, Richard (2021), Data from: Patterns of fine-scale spatial genetic structure and pollen dispersal in giant sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum) , Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.6078/D1J12B

Abstract

Research Highlights: Patterns of dispersal shape the distribution and temporal development of genetic diversity both within and among populations. In an era of unprecedented environmental change, the maintenance of extant genetic diversity is crucial to population persistence. 

Background and Objectives: We investigate patterns of pollen dispersal and spatial genetic structure within populations of giant sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum). 

Materials and Methods: The leaf genotypes of established trees from twelve populations were used to estimate the extent of spatial genetic structure within populations, as measured by the Sp statistic. We utilized progeny arrays from five populations to estimate mating parameters, the diversity of the pollen pool, and characteristics of pollen dispersal. 

Results: Our research indicates that giant sequoia is predominantly outcrossing, but exhibits moderate levels of bi-parental inbreeding (0.155). The diversity of the pollen pool is low, with an average of 7.5 pollen donors per mother tree. As revealed by the Sp-statistic, we find significant genetic structure in ten of twelve populations examined, which indicates the clustering of related individuals at fine spatial scales. Estimates of pollen and gene dispersal indicate predominantly local dispersal, with the majority of pollen dispersal <253 m, and with some populations showing fat-tailed dispersal curves, suggesting potential for long-distance dispersal. 

Conclusions: The research presented here represent the first detailed examination of the reproductive ecology of giant sequoia, which will provide necessary background information for the conservation of genetic resources in this species. We suggest that restoration planting can mitigate potential diversity loss from many giant sequoia populations.