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Genetic structure of the red mangrove (Rhizophora mangle L.) on the Colombian Pacific detected by microsatellite molecular markers

Arbeláez-Cortes, Enrique, Castillo-Cárdenas, María Fernanda, Toro-Perea, Nelson, Cárdenas-Henao, Heiber
Hydrobiologia 2007 v.583 no.1 pp. 321-330
Rhizophora mangle, alleles, anthropogenic activities, coasts, ecosystems, forests, genetic markers, genetic variation, landscapes, littoral zone, loci, microsatellite repeats, population, population structure, Colombia
Rhizophora mangle, one of the five species of the genus Rhizophora, is found widely distributed along the American and West African coasts. This species is one of the principal constituents of the mangrove ecosystem in Colombia and is also found within the most important economic activities for the communities that inhabit the littoral. In order to assess the degree of genetic diversity of R. mangle in five populations of the Colombian Pacific, nuclear microsatellite molecular markers were used. In 92 individuals sampled, it was found that 100% of the loci were polymorphic [graphic removed] , and no private alleles were detected. The population structure of R. mangle in the Colombian Pacific, was highly significant (P < 0.001); however, the greatest differentiation was detected at the within-population level (94.62%). For the populations of La Plata, Virudó and Charambirá, the tendency toward panmixia could be the cause of the low differentiation among these three locations. Within populations, the genetic diversity revealed a deviation from Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium with high significance in Virudó and Tumaco, where it appears the intense anthropogenic activity has exercised strong pressure on the red mangrove, resulting in the possible fragmentation of the local landscape and therefore an increase in the rate of endogamy within these populations. Despite this situation, our study-one of the first developed in genetics of the red mangrove in Colombia-did not show evidence of recent bottleneck effects or deterioration in its genetic composition, which could be exploited to propose management and restoration programs for the zones where the forests of this species are degraded.