Gene Flow, Mating Systems, and Inbreeding Depression in Natural Populations of Tropical Trees

  • Yoshihiko TsumuraEmail author
Part of the Advances in Asian Human-Environmental Research book series (AAHER, volume 2)


I have summarized and reviewed the data on mating system and gene flow of tropical tree species, especially dipterocarps. These are major canopy trees and important for forestry and ecosystem function in Southeast Asia. Microsatellite markers have been developed in many species of the Dipterocarpaceae to clarify the mating system, gene flow, and genetic structure. Dipterocarp species are a predominantly outcrossed species but the outcrossing rate is strongly influenced by the density of flowering tree, flowering phenology, and pollinator behavior. The pollen dispersal patterns of dipterocarp species were affected by differences in conspecific tree flowering density. Reductions in conspecific tree flowering density led to an increase in the selfing rate. In dipterocarp species, inbreeding depression can occur at all stages of development, including seed formation, seed germination, seedling growth, and sapling establishment. Genetic information discussed in this chapter may provide a more promising direction for conservation of natural forest and developing sustainable forestry.


Conservation Dipterocarp Flowering density Microsatellite marker Pollinator Pollen flow Southeast Asia 



The author would like to thank Naoki Tani for providing the data on gene flow distances of S. leprosula and S. parvifolia. The study was partly funded by the Global Environment Research Program supported by the Ministry of Environment in Japan (grant no. E-091) and a Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (No. 18255010) provided by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan.


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Forest GeneticsForestry and Forest Products Research InstituteTsukuba, IbarakiJapan

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