Observatorio de I+D+i UPM

Memorias de investigación
Research Publications in journals:
Extending glacial refugia for a European tree: genetic markers show that Iberian populations of white elm are native relicts and not introductions
Research Areas
  • Molecular, cellular and genetic biology,
  • Biodiversity,
  • Botany,
  • Conservation biology
Conservation policies usually focus on in situ protection of native populations, a priority that requires accurate assessment of population status. Distinction between native and introduced status can be particularly difficult (and at the same time, is most important) for species whose natural habitat has become both rare and highly fragmented. Here we address the status of the white elm (Ulmus laevis Pallas), a European riparian tree species whose populations have been fragmented by human activity and is protected wherever it is considered native. Small populations of this species are located in Iberia, where they are unprotected because they are considered introductions due to their rarity. However, Iberia and neighbouring regions in south-western France have been shown to support discrete glacial refuge populations of many European trees, and the possibility remains that Iberian white elms are native relicts. We used chloroplast RFLPs and nuclear microsatellites to establish the relationship between populations in Iberia and the Central European core distribution. Bayesian approaches revealed significant spatial structure across populations. Those in Iberia and south-western France shared alleles absent from Central Europe, and showed spatial population structure within Iberia common in recognised native taxa. Iberian populations show a demographic signature of ancient population bottlenecks, while those in Central European show a signature of recent population bottlenecks. These patterns are not consistent with historical introduction of white elm to Iberia, and instead strongly support native status, arguing for immediate implementation of conservation measures for white elm populations in Spain and contiguous areas of southern France.
Impact factor JCR
Impact info
Datos JCR del año 2012
Journal number
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  • Autor: Pablo Fuentes Utrilla (UPM)
  • Autor: Martín David Venturas . (UPM)
  • Autor: PM Hollingsworth
  • Autor: J Squirrell
  • Autor: Maria Carmen Collada Collada (UPM)
  • Autor: GN Stone
  • Autor: Luis Alfonso Gil Sanchez (UPM)
Research Group, Departaments and Institutes related
  • Creador: Departamento: Biotecnología
S2i 2020 Observatorio de investigación @ UPM con la colaboración del Consejo Social UPM
Cofinanciación del MINECO en el marco del Programa INNCIDE 2011 (OTR-2011-0236)
Cofinanciación del MINECO en el marco del Programa INNPACTO (IPT-020000-2010-22)