Association between spatial genetic variation and potential distribution in tree fern Alsophila gigantea (Cyatheaceae) in Hainan Island, China

  • Ting WANG South China Agricultural University, College of Life Sciences, Guangzhou (CN)
  • Zhen WANG Sun Yat-sen University, School of Life Sciences, Guangzhou (CN)
  • Shufeng LI Sun Yat-sen University, School of Life Sciences, Guangzhou (CN)
  • Zhanming YING Sun Yat-sen University, School of Life Sciences, Guangzhou; Xiangtan University, College of Chemistry, Xiangtan (CN)
  • Xiaoxian RUAN un Yat-sen University, School of Life Sciences, Guangzhou (CN)
  • Yingjuan SU Sun Yat-sen University, School of Life Sciences, Guangzhou; Research Institute of Sun Yat-sen University in Shenzhen, Shenzhen (CN)
Keywords: Alsophila gigantea, environmental factors, genetic diversity, Hainan Island, ISSR, potential distribution, spatial genetic structure, tree ferns


Spatial genetic variation involves spatial genetic structure (SGS) and genetic diversity is important genetic features of plants. We first evaluated spatial genetic structure (SGS) and genetic diversity among four populations of Alsophila gigantea from Hainan Island, China, using inter-simple sequence repeat (ISSR) markers. Significant but weak FSGS was found in A. gigantea. High genetic diversity was identified at the species level and the population level. AMOVA analysis revealed a low level of genetic differentiation among the four populations with high gene flow. Mantel test showed no significant correlation between genetic distance and geographic distance. It was found that association between annual mean temperature and annual precipitation with FSGS. Combined with these spatial genetic variation, abundant precipitation and suitable temperature create a stable environment for A. gigantea in Hainan Island, which allows the fern to expand rapidly during the LGM. These results further emphasized the role of outcrossing, and history and environmental factors in the evolution of A. gigantea. This study also provided new insights on in local adaptation of A. gigantea to environmental fluctuations, and available genetic data to enhance the conservation for relict tree ferns.


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How to Cite
WANG, T., WANG, Z., LI, S., YING, Z., RUAN, X., & SU, Y. (2021). Association between spatial genetic variation and potential distribution in tree fern Alsophila gigantea (Cyatheaceae) in Hainan Island, China. Notulae Botanicae Horti Agrobotanici Cluj-Napoca, 49(3), 12407.
Research Articles
DOI: 10.15835/nbha49312407