Evaluation of fire recurrence effect on genetic diversity in maritime pine (Pinus pinaster Ait.) stands using Inter-Simple Sequence Repeat profiles.


The management of maritime pine in fire-prone habitats is a challenging task and fine-scale population genetic analyses are necessary to check if different fire recurrences affect genetic variability. The objective of this study was to assess the effect of fire recurrence on maritime pine genetic diversity using inter-simple sequence repeat markers (ISSR). Three maritime pine (Pinus pinaster Ait.) populations from Northern Portugal were chosen to characterize the genetic variability among populations. In relation to fire recurrence, Seirós population was affected by fire both in 1990 and 2005 whereas Vila Seca-2 population was affected by fire just in 2005. The Vila Seca-1 population has been never affected by fire. Our results showed the highest Nei’s genetic diversity (He=0.320), Shannon information index (I=0.474) and polymorphic loci (PPL=87.79%) among samples from twice burned populations (Seirós site). Thus, fire regime plays an important role affecting genetic diversity in the short-term, although not generating maritime pine genetic erosion.

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