iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry


Patterns of genetic diversity in European beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) at the eastern margins of its distribution range

Elena Ciocîrlan (1), Nicolae Sofletea (1), Fulvio Ducci (2), Alexandru Lucian Curtu (1)   

iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry, Volume 10, Issue 6, Pages 916-922 (2017)
doi: https://doi.org/10.3832/ifor2446-010
Published: Dec 10, 2017 - Copyright © 2017 SISEF

Research Articles

Collection/Special Issue: COST Action FP1202
Strengthening conservation: a key issue for adaptation of marginal/peripheral populations of forest trees to climate change in Europe (MaP-FGR)
Guest Editors: Fulvio Ducci, Kevin Donnelly

Populations located at the periphery of the species’ distribution range may play an important role in the context of climate change. These peripheral populations may contain specific adaptations as a result of extreme environmental conditions. The aim of this paper was to assess within population genetic diversity and among population differentiation in one of the most important forest tree species in Europe, European beech (Fagus sylvatica), at the eastern margins of its natural range. We analysed four peripheral, isolated populations and five core populations from the continuous natural range along the Carpathian Mountains using a set of microsatellite markers. Higher levels of genetic diversity as measured by allelic richness (7.34 vs. 6.50) and observed heterozygosity (0.71 vs. 0.59) were detected in core populations than in peripheral ones. Population differentiation was slightly higher among peripheral populations than among core, Carpathian populations. There was strong evidence of bottleneck effects in two out of the four peripheral, isolated populations. Both core, Carpathian populations and peripheral, lowlands populations share the same chloroplast haplotype suggesting a common geographical origin from the putative Moravian refuge area. Past long distance founding events with material from the Carpathian mountain chain might explain the occurrence of small, isolated beech populations towards the steppe in the south-east of Romania. Our genetic data may contribute to a better understanding of the evolutionary history of the remnants of beech scattered occurrences at the eastern margins of species’ distribution range.


Fagus sylvatica, Genetic Diversity, Peripheral Populations, Bottleneck Effect

Authors’ address

Elena Ciocîrlan
Nicolae Sofletea
Alexandru Lucian Curtu
Department of Forest Sciences, Transilvania University of Brasov, Sirul Beethoven-1, 500123 Brasov (Romania)
Fulvio Ducci
CREA SEL, Consiglio per la ricerca in agricoltura e l’analisi dell’economia agraria, Forestry Research Centre, I-52100 Arezzo (Italy)

Corresponding author

Alexandru Lucian Curtu


Ciocîrlan E, Sofletea N, Ducci F, Curtu AL (2017). Patterns of genetic diversity in European beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) at the eastern margins of its distribution range. iForest 10: 916-922. - doi: 10.3832/ifor2446-010

Academic Editor

Fulvio Ducci

Paper history

Received: Mar 29, 2017
Accepted: Aug 23, 2017

First online: Dec 10, 2017
Publication Date: Dec 31, 2017
Publication Time: 3.63 months

Breakdown by View Type

(Waiting for server response...)

Article Usage

Total Article Views: 41682
(from publication date up to now)

Breakdown by View Type
HTML Page Views: 35190
Abstract Page Views: 2385
PDF Downloads: 3193
Citation/Reference Downloads: 22
XML Downloads: 892

Web Metrics
Days since publication: 2379
Overall contacts: 41682
Avg. contacts per week: 122.65

Article Citations

Article citations are based on data periodically collected from the Clarivate Web of Science web site
(last update: Feb 2023)

Total number of cites (since 2017): 9
Average cites per year: 1.29


Publication Metrics

by Dimensions ©

Articles citing this article

List of the papers citing this article based on CrossRef Cited-by.

Asuka Y, Tani N, Tsumura Y, Tomaru N (2004)
Development and characterization of microsatellite markers for Fagus crenata Blume. Molecular Ecology Notes 4: 101-103.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Biris A-I (2014)
Fagetele primare din România, o contributie la Patrimoniul Mondial UNESCO [Romania’s primary beech forests, a contribution to UNESCO World Heritage]. Bucovina Forestiera 14: 77-85. [in Romanian]
Borovics A, Mátyás C (2013)
Decline of genetic diversity of sessile oak at the retracting (xeric) limits. Annals of Forest Science 70: 835-844.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Channell R, Lomolino MV (2000)
Dynamic biogeography and conservation of endangered species. Nature 403: 84-86.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Chhatre VE, Rajora OP (2014)
Genetic divergence and signatures of natural selection in marginal populations of a keystone, long-lived conifer, Eastern White Pine (Pinus strobus) from Northern Ontario. PLoS ONE 9 (5): e97291.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Chybicki IJ, Oleksa A, Kowalkowska K, Burczyk J (2012)
Genetic evidence of reproductive isolation in a remote enclave of Quercus pubescens in the presence of cross-fertile species. Plant Systematics and Evolution 298: 1045-1056.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Ciocîrlan E (2014)
Comparative morphological analyses in marginal beech populations. Bulletin of the Transilvania University of Brasov, Forestry, Wood Industry, Agricultural Food Engineering, Series II 7 (56): 7-12.
Comps B, Thiébaut B, Paule L, Merzeau D, Letouzey J (1990)
Allozymic variability in beechwoods (Fagus sylvatica L.) over central Europe: spatial differentiation among and within populations. Heredity 65: 407-417.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Cornuet JM, Luikart G (1996)
Description and power analysis of two tests for detecting recent population bottlenecks from allele frequency data. Genetics 144: 2001-2014.
Online | Gscholar
Diaconeasa B (1977)
Valoarea documentara fitoistorica a mlastinii de turba de la Mangalia-Herghelie (Jud. Constanta) [The phyto-historical documentary value of the peat bog from Mangalia-Herghelie (Constanta County)]. Contributii Botanice, Gradina Botanica “Alexandru Borza”, Cluj-Napoca, Romania, pp. 41-53. [in Romanian]
Doyle JJ, Doyle JL (1990)
Isolation of plant DNA from fresh tissue. Focus 12: 13-15.
Dumitriu-Tataranu I, Ocskay S (1952)
Pozitia sistematica si origina fagilor dela Luncavita (Dobrogea de Nord) [The systematic position and origin of the beech trees from Luncavita (Northern Dobrogea)]. Revista Padurilor 1-2: 25-31. [in Romanian]
Durand J, Bodenes C, Chancerel E, Frigerio J-M, Vendramin GG, Sebastiani F, Buonamici A, Gailing O, Koelewijn H-P, Villani F, Mattioni C, Cherubini M, Goicoechea P, Herran A, Ikaran Z, Cabane C, Ueno S, Alberto F, Dumoulin P-Y, Guichoux E, Daruvar A, Kremer A, Plomion C (2010)
A fast and cost-effective approach to develop and map EST-SSR markers: oak as a case study. BMC Genomics 11 (1): 570.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Earl DA, Von Holdt BM (2012)
STRUCTURE HARVESTER: a website and program for visualizing STRUCTURE output and implementing the Evanno method. Conservation Genetics Resources 4: 359-361.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Eckert CG, Samis KE, Lougheed SC (2008)
Genetic variation across species’ geographical ranges: the central-marginal hypothesis and beyond. Molecular Ecology 17: 1170-1188.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Enculescu P (1923)
Zonele de vegetatie lemnoasa din România [The woody vegetation zones of Romania]. Editura Cartea Româneasca, Bucuresti, Romania, pp. 268. [in Romanian]
Evanno G, Regnaut S, Goudet J (2005)
Detecting the number of clusters of individuals using the software STRUCTURE: a simulation study. Molecular Ecology 14: 2611-2620.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Excoffier L, Laval G, Schneider S (2005)
Arlequin (version 3.0): an integrated software package for population genetics data analysis. Evolutionary Bioinformatics Online 1: 47-50.
Online | Gscholar
Fady B, Aravanopoulos FA, Alizoti P, Mátyás C, Von Wühlisch G, Westergren M, Belletti P, Cvjetkovic B, Ducci F, Huber G, Kelleher CT, Khaldi A, Kharrat MBD, Kraigher H, Kramer K, Mühlethaler U, Peric S, Perry A, Rousi M, Sbay H, Stojnic S, Tijardovic M, Tsvetkov I, Varela MC, Vendramin GG, Zlatanov T (2016)
Evolution-based approach needed for the conservation and silviculture of peripheral forest tree populations. Forest Ecology and Management 375: 66-75.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Floricica N (1973)
Prezenta fagului în padurile Ocolului Silvic Snagov [The presence of beech in forests of Snagov Forest District]. Revista Padurilor 88: 367-370. [in Romanian]
Forest Europe/UNECE/FAO (2011)
State of Europe’s Forests 2011. Status and Trends in Sustainable Forest Management in Europe. Ministerial Conference on the Protection of Forests in Europe, FOREST EUROPE Liaison Unit, Oslo, Norway, pp. 344.
Gapare WJ, Aitken SN, Ritland CE (2005)
Genetic diversity of core and peripheral Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis (Bong.) Carr) populations: implications for conservation of widespread species. Biological Conservation 123: 113-123.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Georgescu CC (1928)
Insulele de fag din Dobrogea [Beech islands of Dobrogea]. Revista Padurilor 4: 231-242. [in Romanian]
Goudet J (1995)
FSTAT (version 1.2): a computer program to calculate F-statistics. Journal of Heredity 86: 485-486.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Gömöry D, Paule L, Shvadchak IM, Popescu F, Sulkowska M, Hynek V, Longauer R (2003)
Spatial patterns of the genetic differentiation in European beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) at allozyme loci in the Carpathians and the adjacent regions. Silvae Genetica 52: 78-83.
Online | Gscholar
Hampe A, Petit RJ (2005)
Conserving biodiversity under climate change: the rear edge matters. Ecology Letters 8: 461-467.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Hatziskakis S, Papageorgiou AC, Gailing O, Finkeldey R (2009)
High chloroplast haplotype diversity in Greek populations of beech (Fagus sylvatica L.). Plant Biology 11: 425-433.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Langella O (2000)
Populations 1.2.31: Population genetic software (individuals or populations distances, phylogenetic trees). Web site.
Online | Gscholar
Magri D, Vendramin GG, Comps B, Dupanloup I, Geburek T, Gomory D, Latalowa M, Litt T, Paule L, Roure JM, Tantau I, Van Der Knaap WO, Petit RJ, De Beaulieu JL (2006)
A new scenario for the Quaternary history of European beech populations: palaeobotanical evidence and genetic consequences. New Phytologist 171: 199-221.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Nei M (1987)
Molecular evolutionary genetics. Columbia University Press, New York, USA, pp. 512.
Oprea A, Sîrbu C, Goia I (2011)
The vegetation of the natural reserve Valea Fagilor-Luncavita (Tulcea County, Romania). Contributii Botanice, Gradina Botanica “Alexandru Borza”, Cluj-Napoca XLVI: 17-32.
Page RD (2001)
TreeView. Glasgow University, Glasgow, UK, Web site.
Online | Gscholar
Pandey M, Rajora OP (2012)
Higher fine-scale genetic structure in peripheral than in core populations of a long-lived and mixed-mating conifer - eastern white cedar (Thuja occidentalis L.). BMC Evolutionary Biology 12 (1): 48.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Papageorgiou AC, Vidalis A, Gailing O, Tsiripidis I, Hatziskakis S, Boutsios S, Galatsidas S, Finkeldey R (2008)
Genetic variation of beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) in Rodopi (NE Greece). European Journal of Forest Research 127: 81-88.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Pastorelli R, Smulders MJM, Westende Vant WPC, Vosman B, Giannini R, Vettori C, Vendramin GG (2003)
Characterization of microsatellite markers in Fagus sylvatica L. and Fagus orientalis Lipsky. Molecular Ecology Notes 3: 76-78.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Peakall R, Smouse PE (2006)
GENALEX 6: genetic analysis in Excel. Population genetic software for teaching and research. Molecular Ecology Notes 6: 288-295.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Peery MZ, Kirby R, Reid BN, Stoelting R, Doucet-Beer E, Robinson S, Vasquez-Carrillo C, Pauli JN, Palsboll PJ (2012)
Reliability of genetic bottleneck tests for detecting recent population declines. Molecular Ecology 21: 3403-3418.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Pritchard JK, Stephens M, Donnelly P (2000)
Inference of population structure using multilocus genotype data. Genetics 155: 945-959.
Online | Gscholar
Schneider S, Roessli D, Excoffier L (2000)
ARLEQUIN ver 2.000. A software for population genetics data analysis. Genetics and Biometry Laboratory, Dept. of Anthropology and Ecology, University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland.
Stanescu V, Sofletea N, Popescu O (1997)
Flora forestiera lemnoasa a Romaniei [Woody forest flora of Romania]. Editura Ceres, Bucuresti, Romania, pp. 451. [in Romanian]
Van Oosterhout C, Hutchinson WF, Wills DPM, Shipley P (2004)
Micro-checker: software for identifying and correcting genotyping errors in microsatellite data. Molecular Ecology Notes 4: 535-538.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Vornam B, Decarli N, Gailing O (2004)
Spatial distribution of genetic variation in a natural beech stand (Fagus sylvatica L.) based on microsatellite markers. Conservation Genetics 5: 561-570.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Wójkiewicz B, Litkowiec M, Wachowiak W (2016)
Contrasting patterns of genetic variation in core and peripheral populations of highly outcrossing and wind pollinated forest tree species. AoB PLANTS 8: plw054.
CrossRef | Gscholar

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. More info