Non-timber Forest Product Harvest does not Affect the Genetic Diversity of a Tropical Tree Despite Negative Effects on Population Fitness
The authors investigated a relationship between exploitation of economically important mahogany in Benin and the species genetic diversity. The study is base on the theory that disturbances in forest habitats can lead to a decrease in diversity due to population fragmentation and increased inbreeding.
Research Goals & Methods
The study seeks to increase understand the relationship between genetic diversity and harvesting of plant organs. Specifically, the authors studied the effects of long-term bark and foliage harvest by the Fulani people in Benin on the genetic diversity and structure of 12 populations of African mahongany through using nine microsatellite markers. The study sampled 20 individuals in each population.
Conclusions & Takeaways
The study did not find any significant effects of harvesting on genetic diversity or structure of the 12 populations of African mahogany, even though previous works had. The authors suggest that the results indicate that demographic responses to disturbances may precede detectable genetic response. They encourage future studies to use parentage analysis to test if genotypes of harvested parents are directly represented in the offspring populations.
Non-timber Forest Product Harvest does not Affect the Genetic Diversity of a Tropical Tree Despite Negative Effects on Population Fitness. Biotropica. 2014;46:756–762. doi:10.1111/btp.12145..
- Department of Botany, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, HI, U.S.A.
- Laboratoire d’Ecologie Appliquee, Universit e d’Abomey Calavi, Cotonou, Benin
- Laboratorio de Gen etica e Biologia Reprodutiva de Plantas, Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas da Amaz onia, Manaus-AM, Brazil
- Instituto de Pesquisas Jardim Botanico do Rio de Janeiro, Jardim Botanico, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil
- Bioversity International, CIFOR Regional Office, Yaounde, Cameroon