Skip to Main Content
U.S. Forest Service
Caring for the land and serving people

United States Department of Agriculture

Home > Search > Publication Information

  1. Share via EmailShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Twitter
    Dislike this pubLike this pub


    Pinus aristata Engelm., Rocky Mountain bristlecone pine, has a narrow core geographic and elevational distribution, occurs in disjunct populations, and is threatened by rapid climate change, white pine blister rust, and bark beetles. Knowledge of genetic diversity and population structure will help guide gene conservation strategies for this species. Sixteen sites across four mountain ranges in the core distribution of P. aristata were sampled and genetic diversity was assessed with 21 isozyme loci. Low species and population level genetic diversity (He = 0.070 and 0.062, respectively) occurred with moderate among-population differentiation (FST = 0.131). Genetic diversity correlated with longitude, latitude, and elevation and a strong mountain island effect may contribute to substructuring and isolation. Using multiple complementary analyses, sampled trees were assigned to three genetic lineages that varied in diversity and admixture and were associated with different climatic factors. The distribution of genetic diversity and substructuring of P. aristata may be an outcome of a combination of restricted gene flow due to geographic and phenological isolation, random processes of genetic drift, life history traits, natural selection, and postglacial migrations. The combination of low genetic diversity, moderate population isolation, and a protracted regeneration dynamic puts populations at risk for extirpation by novel stresses.

    Publication Notes

    • You may send email to to request a hard copy of this publication.
    • (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)
    • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.


    Schoettle, Anna W.; Goodrich, Betsy A.; Hipkins, Valerie; Richards, Christopher; Kray, Julie. 2012. Geographic patterns of genetic variation and population structure in Pinus aristata, Rocky Mountain bristlecone pine. Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 42: 23-37.


    Google Scholar


    Pinus aristata, Rocky Mountain bristlecone pine, genetic variation

    Related Search

    XML: View XML
Show More
Show Fewer
Jump to Top of Page