J Integr Plant Biol. ›› 2005, Vol. 47 ›› Issue (10): 1184-1192.DOI: 10.1111/j.1744-7909.2005.00143.x

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Effects of Logging on the Genetic Diversity of Quercus tiaoloshanica Chun et Ko in a Tropical Montane Forest of Hainan Island, Southern China

Jian-Wei ZHENG, Shu-Qing AN, Lin CHEN, Xin LENG, Zhong-Sheng WANG and Hua-Jun XIANG   

Abstract: Quercus tiaoloshanica Chun et Ko, which has a narrow range of distribution, is one of the important endemic species of the tropical montane rain forest on Hainan Island, southern China. Long-term logging and habitat destruction have resulted in population decline and distribution retreat of Q. tiaoloshanica. To determine the impact of logging on the genetic diversity of Q. tiaoloshanica, the authors investigated the genetic structures using amplified fragment length polymorphism markers in four regenerated stands after logging and in one unlogged stand. Compared with the unlogged stand, the effective number of alleles per locus dropped by 1% in selective logging stands and by 2.0% in clear logging stands, corresponding to reductions of 3.8% and 5.2%, respectively, in mean Nei’s gene diversity and 2.9% and 3.5%, respectively, in mean Shannon diversity index. No substantial genetic erosion was detected in any of the regenerated stands owing to the high tree density and high heterogeneity of the Q. tiaoloshanica stands investigated. Meanwhile, there was no natural regeneration of the species observed in a Dacrydium pierrei Hickel plantation 700 m away from the regenerated stands, suggesting the limited ability of seed dispersal of Q. tiaoloshanica. Clear logging should be undertaken cautiously because the total number of plant species dropped by 15.2% in the clear-logged stands compared with the unlogged stand. To conserve the genetic diversity of this species, as well as the plant biodiversity of tropical forests, the habitats of Q. tiaoloshanica should be protected against exploitation in terms of agricultural or other forms of land use, and some mature trees should be preserved as seed sources to maintain an adequate regeneration base for this species in the management of logging.

Key words: amplified fragment length polymorphism, genetic erosion, logging, Quercus tiaoloshanica, tropical forest.

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