Landscape-level spatial genetic structure in Quercus acutissima (Fagaceae)

Mi Yoon Chung, John Nason, Myong Gi Chung, Kim Joong Kim, Chong Wook Park, Byung Yun Sun, Jae Hong Pak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Citations (Scopus)


Quercus acutissima (Fagaceae), a deciduous broad-leaved tree, is an important forest element in hillsides of South Korea. We used allozyme loci, Wright's F statistics, and multilocus spatial autocorrelation statistics to examine the distribution of genetic diversity within and among three local populations and the spatial genetic structure at a landscape scale (15 ha, 250 × 600 m) on Oenaro Island, South Korea. Levels of genetic diversity in Q. acutissima populations were comparable to mean values for other oak species. A moderate but significant deficit of heterozygotes (mean FIS = 0.069) was detected within local populations and low but significant differentiation was observed among populations (FST = 0.010). Spatial autocorrelation analyses revealed little evidence of significant genetic structure at spatial scales of 100-120 m. The failure to detect genetic structure within populations may be due to intraspecific competition or random mortality among saplings, resulting in extensive thinning within maternal half-sib groups. Alternatively, low genetic differentiation at the landscape scale indicates substantial gene flow among local populations. Although wind-borne pollen may be the primary source of gene flow in Q. acutissima, these results suggest that acorn movement by animals may be more extensive than previously anticipated. Comparison of these genetic data for Oenaro Island with a disturbed isolated inland population suggests that population-to-population differences in internal genetic structure may be influenced by local variation in regeneration environment (e.g., disturbance).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1229-1236
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Botany
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2002 Aug


  • Allozymes
  • Coancestry
  • Fagaceae
  • Landscape scale
  • Quercus acutissima
  • Seed dispersal
  • Spatial genetic structure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Genetics
  • Plant Science


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