Genetic diversity of European beech in Poland estimated on the basis of isoenzyme analyses

The aim of this study was the assessment of genetic diversity and differentiation patterns of European beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) populations within its natural range in Poland. These stands cover 5.2% of the forest area in Poland, and form the predominant forest tree communities throughout the Carpathians and Sudety Mountains, and the moraine landscape of the Pomeranian Lake District. Varying environmental conditions have resulted in agreat number of ecotypes and populations which are characterized by various ecological requirements. Poland represents the north¬eastern limit of the beech's natural distribution. Genetic diversity and differentiation was assessed using allozyme gene markers employing 9 enzyme sys¬tems: glutamate-oxaloacetate transaminase (GOT – EC, leucine aminopeptidase (LAP – EC, isocitrate dehydrogenase (IDH – EC, malate dehydrogenase (MDH – EC, menadione reductase (MNR– EC1.6.99.2), phosphoglucomutase (PGM – EC, phosphoglucose isomerase (PGI – EC, per¬oxydase (PX– EC 1.11.17) and shikimate dehydrogenase (SKDH – EC Beech populations occurring toward the northeast of the natural range were characterised by adecreasing the average number of alleles per locus and percentage of polymorphic loci. The highest genetic differentiation was found in the East Carpathians. The genetic differentiation levels of Polish beech populations are comparable to the other European countries.
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