Biodiversity & Conservation

, Volume 14, Issue 5, pp 1047–1057 | Cite as

High levels of genetic structuring as a result of population fragmentation in the tropical tree species Caesalpinia echinata Lam.

  • Sérgio Ricardo Sodré Cardoso
  • Jim Provan
  • Catarina Da Fonseca Lira
  • Luiza De Oliveira Ramos Pereira
  • Paulo Cavalcanti Gomes Ferreira
  • Mônica Aires Cardoso


We have investigated levels of genetic diversity within and among seven remnant populations of Caesalpinia echinata Lam., an endangered species found as fragmented populations in three major areas around the coastal regions of Brazil. Using amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) genetic markers, we detected levels of within-population genetic diversity ranging from 0.092 to 0.163, with the lowest values generally being found in the smallest populations. Estimates of between-population genetic differentiation were strongly correlated with geographical distance (r = 0.884, p < 0.001), which,along with a neighbour-joining phylogenetic analysis, strongly suggested high levels of genetic isolation by distance. Over half (62%) of the total genetic diversity was partitioned between populations, further highlighting the genetic distinctness of individual populations. Taken together, these results suggest that fragmentation has led to an increase in population differentiation between fragments of C. echinata. These formations will be of great value in the development of conservation plans for species exhibiting high levels of genetic differentiation due to fragmentation, such as indication of conservation unit size, which populations should be chosen as priority in conservation plans and which samples should be introduced in areas with a low number of individuals of brazilwood.


Atlantic rainforest AFLP Caesalpinia echinata Conservation biology Endangered species Genetic variability Habitat fragmentation Isolation-by-distance 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Brasil Portaria n.006/92-N,15 de janeiro de 1992. 1992. Lista Oficial de Espécies da Flora Brasileira Ameaçadas de Extinção. Diário Oficial da República Federativa do Brasil, Brasília, Brazil.Google Scholar
  2. Cardoso, M.A., Provan, J., Powell, W., Ferreira, P.C.G., de Oliveira, D.E. 1998High genetic differentiation among remnant populations of the endangered Caesalpinia echinata Lam (Leguminosae Caesalpinioideae)Molecular Ecology7601608Google Scholar
  3. Cardoso, S.R.S., Eloy, N.B., Provan, J., Cardoso, M.A., Ferreira, P.C.G. 2000Genetic differentiation of Euterpe edulis Mart. populations estimated by AFLP analysisMolecular Ecology917531760Google Scholar
  4. Chalmers, K.J., Waugh, R., Sprent, J.I., Simons, A.J., Powell, W. 1992Detection of genetic variation between and within populations of Gliricidia sepiumG. maculata using RAPD markersHeredity69465472Google Scholar
  5. Chung, M.G., Kang, S.S. 1994Genetic variation and population structure in Korean populations of Eurya japonica (Theaceae)American Journal of Botany8110771082Google Scholar
  6. Cresswell, A., Sackville-Hamilton, N.R., Roy, A.K., Viegas, B.M. 2001Use of amplified fragment length polymorphism markers to assess genetic diversity of Lolium species from PortugalMolecular Ecology10229241Google Scholar
  7. Cunha, M., Lima, H.C. 1992Viagem à Terra do Pau Brasil, 1st edAgência Brasileira de CulturaRio de Janeiro, BrazilGoogle Scholar
  8. Dean, W. 1996A ferro e fogo2nd edCompanhia das LetrasRio de JaneiroBrazilGoogle Scholar
  9. Dutech, C., Seiter, J., Petronelli, P., Joly, H.I., Jarne, P. 2002Evidence of low gene flow in a neotropical clustered tree species in two rainforest stands of French GuianaMolecular Ecology11725738Google Scholar
  10. Dayanandan, S., Dole, J., Bawa, K., Kesseli, R. 1999Population structure delineated with microsatellite markers in fragmented populations of a tropical treeCarapa guianensis (Meliaceae)Molecular Ecology815851592Google Scholar
  11. Excoffier, L., Smouse, P., Quattro, J. 1992Analysis of molecular variance inferred from metric distances among DNA haplotypes: application to human mitochondrial DNA restriction dataGenetics131479491Google Scholar
  12. Fauna and Flora International, Jardim Botânico do Rio de JaneiroFundação Botânica Margaret Mee. 1997. Conservação e manejo de pau brasil (Caesalpinia echinata Lam.). Plano de açãoBúzios, Brazil.Google Scholar
  13. Felsenstein, J. 1995PHYLIP (Phylogeny Inference Package), Version 3.57c. Department of GeneticsUniversity of WashingtonSeattle, WashingtonGoogle Scholar
  14. Gillies, A.C., Navarro, C., Lowe, A.J., Newton, A.C., Hernandez, M., Wilson, J., Cornelius, J.P. 1999Genetic diversity in mesoamerican populations of mahogany (Swietenia macrophylla), assessed using RAPDsHeredity83722732Google Scholar
  15. Hamrick, J.L. 1989Isozymes and the analysis of genetic structure in plant populationsSoltis, D.E.Soltis, P.S. eds. Plant BiologyDioscorides PressPortlandOregon87105Google Scholar
  16. Huff, D.R., Peakall, R., Smouse, P.E. 1993RAPD variation within and among natural populations of outcrossing buffalograss [Buchloe dactyloides (Nutt.) Engelm.]Theoretical and Applied Genetics86927934Google Scholar
  17. Keller, L.F., Waller, D.M. 2002Inbreeding effects in wild populationsTrends in Ecology and Evolution17230241Google Scholar
  18. Lira, C.F., Cardoso, S.R.S., Ferreira, P.C.G., Cardoso, M.A., Provan, J. 2003Long term population isolation in the endangered tropical tree species revealed by chloroplast microsatellitesMolecular Ecology1232193225Google Scholar
  19. Muluvi, G.M., Sprent, J.I., Soranzo, N., Provan, J., Odee, D., Folkard, G., Powell, W. 1999Amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) analysis of genetic variation in Moringa oleifera LamMolecular Ecology8463470Google Scholar
  20. Nei, M. 1978Estimation of average heterozigosity and genetic distances from a small number of individualGenetics89583590Google Scholar
  21. Nei, M. 1987Molecular Evolutionary GeneticsColumbia University PressNew YorkGoogle Scholar
  22. Obayashi, K., Tsumura, Y., Ihara-Ujino, T., Niiyama, K., Tanouchi, H., Suyama, Y.,  et al. 2002Genetic diversity and outcrossing rate between undisturbed and selectively logged forests of Shorea curtisii (Dipterocarpaceae) using microsatellite DNA analysisInternational Journal of Plant Science163151158Google Scholar
  23. Pacala, S.W., Canham, C.D., Saponara, J., Silander, J.A.,Jr., Kobe, R.K., Ribbens, E. 1996Forest models defined by field measurements: estimation, error analysis and dynamicsEcological Monographs66143Google Scholar
  24. Page, R.D.M 1996TreeView: an application to display phylogenetic trees on personal computersComputational and Applied Biosciences12357358Google Scholar
  25. Rodrigues, P.J. 1998Efeito da fragmentação e degradação do ambiente na estrutura e demografia de sub-populações de Caesalpinia echinata LamUniversidade Federal do Rio de JaneiroBrazil(pau brasil) M.Sc. Thesis.Google Scholar
  26. Russell, J.R., Weber, J.C., Booth, A., Powell, W., Soltelo-Montes, C., Dawson, I.K. 1999Genetic variation Calycophylum spruceanum in the Peruvian Amazon Basin revealed by amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) analysisMolecular Ecology8199204Google Scholar
  27. Schneider, S., Roessli, D., Excoffier, L. 2000ARLEQUIN Version 2: Software for population genetic data analysisGenetics and Biometry Laboratory. University of GenevaSwitzerlandGoogle Scholar
  28. Suyama, Y., Obayashi, K., Hayashi, I. 2000Clonal structure in a dwarf bamboo (Sasa senanesis) populations inferred from amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) fingerprintsMolecular Ecology9901906Google Scholar
  29. Travis, S.E., Maschinski, J., Keim, P. 1996An analysis of genetic variation in Astralagus cremnophylax var. cremnophylax; a critically endangered plantusing AFLP markersMolecular Ecology5735745Google Scholar
  30. Vos, P., Hogers, R., Bleeker, M., Reijans, M., de Lee, T., Hornes, M.,  et al. 1995AFLP: a new technique for DNA fingerprintingNucleic Acids Research2344074414Google Scholar
  31. White, G.M., Boshier, D.H., Powell, W. 2002Increased pollen flow counteracts fragmentation in a tropical dry forest: an example from Swietenia humilis ZuccariniProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA9920382042Google Scholar
  32. Yeh, F.C., Yang, R.C., Boyle, T. 1997POPGENEVersion 1.21: Software Microsoft Window-based Freeware for Population Genetic AnalysisUniversity of AlbertaEdmonton, Alberta, CanadaGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sérgio Ricardo Sodré Cardoso
    • 1
    • 2
  • Jim Provan
    • 3
  • Catarina Da Fonseca Lira
    • 1
  • Luiza De Oliveira Ramos Pereira
    • 1
  • Paulo Cavalcanti Gomes Ferreira
    • 1
  • Mônica Aires Cardoso
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Departamento de Bioquímica MédicaUniversidade Federal do Rio de JaneiroRio de JaneiroBrazil
  2. 2.Instituto de Pesquisas Jardim Botânico do Rio de JaneiroRio de JaneiroBrazil
  3. 3.School of Biology and BiochemistryThe Queen’s University of BelfastBelfastNorthern Ireland

Personalised recommendations