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A novel synthesis of two decades of microsatellite studies on European beech reveals decreasing genetic diversity from glacial refugia


Stefanini, Camilla; Csilléry, Katalin; Ulaszewski, Bartosz; Burczyk, Jarosław; Schaepman, Michael E; Schuman, Meredith Christine (2023). A novel synthesis of two decades of microsatellite studies on European beech reveals decreasing genetic diversity from glacial refugia. Tree Genetics & Genomes, 19(1):3.

Abstract

Genetic diversity influences the evolutionary potential of forest trees under changing environmental conditions, thus indirectly the ecosystem services that forests provide. European beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) is a dominant European forest tree species that increasingly suffers from climate change-related die-back. Here, we conducted a systematic literature review of neutral genetic diversity in European beech and created a meta-data set of expected heterozygosity (He) from all past studies providing nuclear microsatellite data. We propose a novel approach, based on population genetic theory and a min–max scaling to make past studies comparable. Using a new microsatellite data set with unprecedented geographic coverage and various re-sampling schemes to mimic common sampling biases, we show the potential and limitations of the scaling approach. The scaled meta-dataset reveals the expected trend of decreasing genetic diversity from glacial refugia across the species range and also supports the hypothesis that different lineages met and admixed north of the European mountain ranges. As a result, we present a map of genetic diversity across the range of European beech which could help to identify seed source populations harboring greater diversity and guide sampling strategies for future genome-wide and functional investigations of genetic variation. Our approach illustrates how to combine information from several nuclear microsatellite data sets to describe patterns of genetic diversity extending beyond the geographic scale or mean number of loci used in each individual study, and thus is a proof-of-concept for synthesizing knowledge from existing studies also in other species.

Abstract

Genetic diversity influences the evolutionary potential of forest trees under changing environmental conditions, thus indirectly the ecosystem services that forests provide. European beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) is a dominant European forest tree species that increasingly suffers from climate change-related die-back. Here, we conducted a systematic literature review of neutral genetic diversity in European beech and created a meta-data set of expected heterozygosity (He) from all past studies providing nuclear microsatellite data. We propose a novel approach, based on population genetic theory and a min–max scaling to make past studies comparable. Using a new microsatellite data set with unprecedented geographic coverage and various re-sampling schemes to mimic common sampling biases, we show the potential and limitations of the scaling approach. The scaled meta-dataset reveals the expected trend of decreasing genetic diversity from glacial refugia across the species range and also supports the hypothesis that different lineages met and admixed north of the European mountain ranges. As a result, we present a map of genetic diversity across the range of European beech which could help to identify seed source populations harboring greater diversity and guide sampling strategies for future genome-wide and functional investigations of genetic variation. Our approach illustrates how to combine information from several nuclear microsatellite data sets to describe patterns of genetic diversity extending beyond the geographic scale or mean number of loci used in each individual study, and thus is a proof-of-concept for synthesizing knowledge from existing studies also in other species.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Department of Chemistry
07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography
08 Research Priority Programs > Global Change and Biodiversity
Dewey Decimal Classification:910 Geography & travel
540 Chemistry
Scopus Subject Areas:Life Sciences > Forestry
Life Sciences > Molecular Biology
Life Sciences > Genetics
Life Sciences > Horticulture
Uncontrolled Keywords:Horticulture, Genetics, Molecular Biology, Forestry
Language:English
Date:1 February 2023
Deposited On:13 Jan 2023 15:54
Last Modified:28 Jun 2024 01:38
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:1614-2950
OA Status:Hybrid
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1007/s11295-022-01577-4
Project Information:
  • : FunderNOMIS Stiftung
  • : Grant ID
  • : Project Title
  • : FunderResearch Priority Program on Global Change and Biodiversity
  • : Grant ID
  • : Project Title
  • : FunderUniversity of Zurich
  • : Grant ID
  • : Project Title
  • Content: Published Version
  • Language: English
  • Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)