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Assessing Clark's nutcracker seed-caching flights using maternally inherited mitochondrial DNA of whitebark pine

Posted date: June 21, 2006
Publication Year: 
2002
Authors: Richardson, Bryce A.Klopfenstein, Ned B.; Brunsfeld, Steven J.
Publication Series: 
Scientific Journal (JRNL)
Source: Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 32(6): 1103-1107.

Abstract

Maternally inherited mitochondrial DNA haplotypes in whitebark pine (Pinus albicaulis Engelm.) were used to examine the maternal genetic structure at three hierarchical spatial scales: fine scale, coarse scale, and interpopulation. These data were used to draw inferences into Clark’s nutcracker (Nucifraga columbiana Wilson) seedcaching flight distances. Statistical analyses of fine-scale and coarse-scale distribution of haplotypes showed no apparent signs of deviation from a random pattern. This suggests nutcrackers are effective in dispersal of seed within populations, which is consistent with data gathered on nutcracker seed-caching behavior. However, the lack of homogeneity in haplotype frequencies among populations indicates nutcrackers rarely disperse seeds across large gaps (>20 km) in subalpine habitat.

Citation

Richardson, Bryce A.; Klopfenstein, Ned B.; Brunsfeld, Steven J. 2002. Assessing Clark's nutcracker seed-caching flights using maternally inherited mitochondrial DNA of whitebark pine. Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 32(6): 1103-1107.