Publication Details

Category Text Publication
Reference Category Journals
DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0209840
Licence creative commons licence
Title (Primary) Differential role of a persistent seed bank for genetic variation in early vs. late successional stages
Author Schulz, B.; Durka, W. ORCID logo ; Danihelka, J.; Eckstein, R.L.
Source Titel PLOS ONE
Year 2018
Department BZF; iDiv
Volume 13
Issue 12
Page From e0209840
Language englisch
Keywords genetic variation; seed bank; succession
Abstract Persistent seed banks are predicted to have an important impact on population genetic processes by increasing effective population size and storing past genetic diversity. Accordingly, persistent seed banks may buffer genetic effects of disturbance, fragmentation and/or selection. However, empirical studies surveying the relationship between aboveground and seed bank genetics under changing environments are scarce. Here, we compared genetic variation of aboveground and seed bank cohorts in 15 populations of the partially cleistogamous Viola elatior in two contrasting early and late successional habitats characterized by strong differences in light-availability and declining population size. Using AFLP markers, we found significantly higher aboveground than seed bank genetic diversity in early successional meadow but not in late successional woodland habitats. Moreover, individually, three of eight woodland populations even showed higher seed bank than aboveground diversity. Genetic differentiation among populations was very strong (фST = 0.8), but overall no significant differentiation could be detected between above ground and seed bank cohorts. Small scale spatial genetic structure was generally pronounced but was much stronger in meadow (Sp-statistic: aboveground: 0.60, seed bank: 0.32) than in woodland habitats (aboveground: 0.11; seed bank: 0.03). Our findings indicate that relative seed bank diversity (i.e. compared to aboveground diversity) increases with ongoing succession and despite decreasing population size. As corroborated by markedly lower small-scale genetic structure in late successional habitats, we suggest that the observed changes in relative seed bank diversity are driven by an increase of outcrossing rates. Persistent seed banks in Viola elatior hence will counteract effects of drift and selection, and assure a higher chance for the species’ long term persistence, particularly maintaining genetic variation in declining populations of late successional habitats and thus enhancing success rates of population recovery after disturbance events.
Persistent UFZ Identifier
Schulz, B., Durka, W., Danihelka, J., Eckstein, R.L. (2018):
Differential role of a persistent seed bank for genetic variation in early vs. late successional stages
PLOS One 13 (12), e0209840 10.1371/journal.pone.0209840