New Forests

, 37:285 | Cite as

Variation in seed and seedling traits among natural populations of Trigonobalanus doichangensis (A. Camus) Forman (Fagaceae), a rare and endangered plant in southwest China



The extent of genetic variation in seed and seedling traits of Trigonobalanus doichangensis, a rare and endangered tree in southwest China, was evaluated at the population level. Seeds were collected from four natural populations in the south and southwest Yunnan province, China. Significant differences (P < 0.05) between populations were observed in seed length, seed weight and seedling morphological characters. The analyses revealed that none of the seed and seedling traits had significant correlations with the geo-climatic variables of the populations. Among seed and seedling traits, significant correlations (P < 0.05) were discovered among seed length, seed weight and height of 30-day-old seedlings. Significant correlation (r = 1.00, P < 0.01) occurred also between the height and root collar diameter of 4-year-old seedlings. With the exception of seed width and seed germination percentage, 51–96% of total variation in other seed and seedling related traits was attributed to population effect, as determined by the broad sense heritability. In conclusion, these observations on variation in seed and seedling traits should be a reference point, when considering seed collection of this species for ex situ conservation and species restoration.


Ex situ conservation Genetic variation Natural populations Seed and seedling traits 



The authors would like thank Mr. Zhao Jin-Chao for his help in seed collection. This work has been financially supported by the Chinese Academy of Science (KSCX2-SW-104 to WB Sun) and the special fund of China’s Yunnan government for young and middle-aged qualified scientists and technicians (2006PY01-48 to WB Sun).


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Kunming Botanical Garden, Kunming Institute of BotanyChinese Academy of SciencesKunmingChina
  2. 2.Graduate School of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  3. 3.Pershore Group of CollegesPershoreGreat Britain

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