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Diversity 2015, 7(2), 105-117;

Analysis of Genetic Diversity of Two Mangrove Species with Morphological Alterations in a Natural Environment

Diretoria de Pesquisa, Instituto de Pesquisas Jardim Botânico do Rio de Janeiro, Rua Pacheco Leão 915, Jardim Botânico, Rio de Janeiro 22460-030, Brazil
Instituto de Bioquímica Médica, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Avenida Bauhinia 400, CCS, Bloco L(SS) sala 29, Ilha do Fundão, Rio de Janeiro 21491-590, Brazil
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Peter Saenger
Received: 5 December 2014 / Revised: 9 April 2015 / Accepted: 10 April 2015 / Published: 17 April 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mangrove Conservation)
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Mangrove is an ecosystem subjected to tide, salinity and nutrient variations. These conditions are stressful to most plants, except to mangrove plants that are well-adapted. However, many mangrove areas have extremely stressful conditions, such as salt marshes, and the plants nearby usually present morphological alterations. In Sepetiba Bay, two species of mangrove plants, Avicennia schaueriana and Laguncularia racemosa, have poor development near a salt marsh (SM) compared to plants at the riverside (RS), which is considered a favorable habitat in mangroves. The level of genetic diversity and its possible correlation with the morphological divergence of SM and RS plants of both species were assessed by AFLP molecular markers. We found moderate genetic differentiation between A. schaueriana plants from SM and RS areas and depleted genetic diversity on SM plants. On the other hand, Laguncularia racemosa plants had no genetic differentiation between areas. It is possible that a limited gene flow among the studied areas might be acting more intensely on A. schaueriana plants, resulting in the observed genetic differentiation. The populations of Laguncularia racemosa appear to be well connected, as genetic differentiation was not significant between the SM and RS populations. Gene flow and genetic drift are acting on neutral genetic diversity of these two mangrove species in the studied areas, and the observed genetic differentiation of A. schaueriana plants might be correlated with its morphological variation. For L. racemosa, morphological alterations could be related to epigenetic phenomena or adaptive loci polymorphism that should be further investigated. View Full-Text
Keywords: mangrove; AFLP; genetic diversity; morphological variation; stress mangrove; AFLP; genetic diversity; morphological variation; stress

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Lira-Medeiros, C.F.; Cardoso, M.A.; Fernandes, R.A.; Ferreira, P.C.G. Analysis of Genetic Diversity of Two Mangrove Species with Morphological Alterations in a Natural Environment. Diversity 2015, 7, 105-117.

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