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    Description

    Genetic diversity and genetic structure in Engelmann spruce (Picea engelmannii Parry ex Engelm.) were interpreted with respect to the effects of glacial and interglacial displacement and compared with patterns in blue spruce (Picea pungens Engelm.), which occupies a range well south of the last glacial front. On average, Engelmann spruce populations were polymorphic at 80% of 24 isozyme loci, with 2.4 alleles per locus and expected heterozygosity of 0.255. The respective means for four populations of blue spruce were 42.7%, 1.6 alleles, and 0.138. Of total diversity, 14.7% was among populations in Engelmann spruce and 8.6% in blue spruce. In Engelmann spruce, numbers of alleles increased from south to north. Recent bottlenecks were indicated in the three southernmost populations of Engelmann spruce and in the northernmost population of blue spruce. Cluster analysis divided Engelmann spruce into a northern group and a Southwestern group; however, populations from Utah were distributed among both clusters. Genetic distance was correlated with geographic distance between northern populations but not between Southwestern populations, where drift predominated over gene flow. In two Engelmann spruce populations from Utah, multilocus outcrossing rates were 0.951 (±0.016) and 0.940 (±0.071). At Flys Peak, Arizona, the southernmost location of Engelmann spruce, outcrossing was also high, 0.899 (±0.017). Thus, inbreeding coefficients observed for parental (–0.104 to 0.047) and filial (0.011 to 0.026) generations were low. Although Engelmann spruce seemed genetically robust, the evidence of bottlenecks in the southern extreme of its range suggested future problems in an era of global warming.

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    Citation

    Ledig, F. Thomas; Hodgskiss, Paul D.; Johnson, David R. 2010. The structure of genetic diversity in Engelmann spruce and a comparison with blue spruce. Can. J. Bot. 84: 1806–1828 (2006) doi:10.1139/B06-106

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    Keywords

    diversity, selfing, genetic drift, bottlenecks, climate change

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https://www.fs.usda.gov/treesearch/pubs/36414