Blog List

Friday, 18 November 2016

The populations and distribution of Pieris japonica, a poisonous tree protected from herbivore browsing pressure, increase slowly but steadily

Published Date
Volume 21, Issue 3pp 125–130

Original Article
DOI: 10.1007/s10310-016-0521-x

Cite this article as: 
Kurokochi, H. & Chunlan, L. J For Res (2016) 21: 125. doi:10.1007/s10310-016-0521-x

  • kochi
  • Lian Chunlan

  • Abstract

    Pieris japonica is a poisonous tree species that is rarely eaten by herbivorous animals, a fact that could enable the expansion of its distribution range and influence ecosystems into which it encroaches. In a regional-scale study, 300 P. japonica trees from 13 populations were sampled at the University of Tokyo Chichibu Forest, Japan, and were analyzed using 11 microsatellite markers. Genetic differentiation among the populations was low (FST = 0.022 and G′ST = 0.024). A plot (30 × 30 m) was established for a fine-scale study, in which all P. japonica trees and saplings were measured and genetically analyzed using the microsatellite markers. Using this approach, we detected 84 genotypes among the 121 P. japonica trees in the plot. A few genotypes had expanded by more than 5 m, indicating that the ability to reproduce asexually could facilitate P. japonica trees to remain in a given location. Autocorrelation analysis showed that the extent of nonrandom spatial genetic structure was approximately 7.0 m, suggesting that seed dispersal was limited. KINGROUP analyses showed that 44 genotype pairs were full siblings, 23 were half-siblings, and 40 were parent-offspring. Only 32 seedlings were observed, of which 15 had reproduced asexually. The number of P. japonica trees has been increasing gradually for more than half a century in our study areas.


    1. Chuman M, Kurokochi H, Saito Y, Ide Y (2015) Expansion of an invasive species, Ailanthus altissima, at a regional scale in Japan. J Ecol Environ 38:47–56CrossRefGoogle Scholar
    2. El Mousadik A, Petit RJ (1996) High level of genetic differentiation for allelic richness among populations of the argan tree [Argania spinosa (L.) Skeels] endemic to Morocco. Theor Appl Genet 92:832–839. doi:10.1007/BF00221895CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
    3. Goudet J (2001) FSTAT: a program to estimate and test gene diversities and fixation indices. Version 2.9.3.
    4. Hardy OJ, Vekemans X (2002) SPAGeDi: a versatile computer program to analyse spatial genetic structure at the individual or population levels. Mol Ecol Notes 2:618–620CrossRefGoogle Scholar
    5. Hirai S (2000) Variation of domestic and foreign woody plants. Wood Ind 55:329–333 (in Japanese)Google Scholar
    6. Ikeda T, Ohno K (2000) Treeform variation of Pieris japonica (Thunb.) D. Don on various habitats. Yokohamakokudai-kankyouken-kiyou 26:111–116Google Scholar
    7. Igarashi S, Saito Y, Niwa Y, Ide Y (2011) Genetic diversity and genetic structure of Betula schmidtii in the Chichibu mountain range, central Japan. 123th Annual JFS Meeting 123:Pa065 (in Japanese)
    8. Konovalov DA, Manning C, Henshaw MT (2004) KINGROUP: a program for pedigree relationship reconstruction and kin group assignments using genetic markers. Mol Ecol Notes 4:779–782CrossRefGoogle Scholar
    9. Kurata S (1964) Illustrated important forest trees of Japan, vol 3. Chikyusha, Japan (in Japanese)Google Scholar
    10. Kurokochi H, Hogetsu T (2014) Fine-scale initiation of non-native Robinia pseudoacaciariparian forests along the Chikumagawa River in central Japan. J Ecol Environ 37:21–29CrossRefGoogle Scholar
    11. Kurokochi H, Toyama K (2015) Invasive tree species Robinia pseudoacacia: A potential biomass resource in Nagano Prefecture, Japan. Small-scale For 14:205–215CrossRefGoogle Scholar
    12. Kurokochi H, Toyama K, Hogetsu T (2010) Regeneration of Robinia pseudoacacia riparian forests after clear-cutting along the Chikumagawa River in Japan. Plant Ecol 210:31–41CrossRefGoogle Scholar
    13. Kurokochi H, Chuman M, Saito Y, Ide Y (2013) Low chloroplast diversity despite phylogenetically divergent haplotypes in Japanese populations of Ailanthus altissima(Simaroubaceae). Botany 91:148–154CrossRefGoogle Scholar
    14. Kurokochi H, Saito Y, Ide Y (2014) Genetic structure of the introduced heaven tree (Ailanthus altissima) in Japan: evidence for two distinct origins with limited admixture. Botany 93:133–139CrossRefGoogle Scholar
    15. Kurokochi H, Tan E, Asakawa S, Lian C (2015) Development of 18 microsatellite markers in Pieris japonica, a poisonous tree insulated from the browsing pressure of herbivores, using a next-generation sequencer. J For Res 20:244–247CrossRefGoogle Scholar
    16. Maesako Y, Nanami S, Kanzaki M (2007) Spatial distribution of two invasive alien species, Podocarpus nagi and Sapium sebiferum, spreading in a warm-temperate evergreen forest of the Kasugayama forest reserve, Japan. Veg Sci 24:103–112Google Scholar
    17. Marshall TC, Slate J, Kruuk LEB, Pemberton JM (1998) Statistical confidence for likelihood-based paternity inference in natural populations. Mol Ecol 7:639–655CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
    18. Nei M (1987) Molecular evolutionary genetics. Columbia University Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
    19. Nomiya H, Suzuki W, Kanazashi T, Shibata M, Tanaka H, Nakashizuka T (2003) The response of forest floor vegetation and tree regeneration on deer exclusion and disturbance in a riparian deciduous forest, central Japan. Plant Ecol 164:263–276CrossRefGoogle Scholar
    20. Ohsawa T, Ide Y (2008) Global patterns of genetic variation in plant species along vertical and horizontal gradients on mountains. Global Ecol Biogeogr 17:152–163CrossRefGoogle Scholar
    21. Ohsawa T, Tsuda Y, Saito Y, Sawada H, Ide Y (2006) Genetic diversity and gene flow of Quercus crispula in a semi-fragmented forest together with neighboring forests. Silvae Genetica 55:160–168Google Scholar
    22. Peakall R, Smouse PE (2005) GENALEX 6: genetic analysis in Excel. Population genetic software for teaching and research. Mol Ecol Notes 6:288–295CrossRefGoogle Scholar
    23. Schneider S, Roessli D, Excoffier L (2000) Arlequin ver. 2.000: a software for population genetics data analysis [user’s manual]. University of Geneva, Genetics and Biometry Laboratory, Geneva, Switzerland.
    24. Suzuki M, Miyashita T, Kabaya H, Ochiai K, Asada M, Tange T (2008) Deer density affects ground-layer vegetation differently in conifer plantations and hardwood forests on the Boso Peninsula, Japan. Ecol Res 23:151–158CrossRefGoogle Scholar
    25. Tsuda Y, Sawada H, Ohsawa T, Nakao K, Nishikawa H, Ide Y (2010) Landscape genetic structure of Betula maximowicziana in the Chichibu mountain range, central Japan. Tree genet genomes 6:377–387CrossRefGoogle Scholar
    26. Uehara K (1959) Illustrations of trees. Ariake Shobou, Tokyo (in Japanese)
    27. Yokoyama S, Shibata E (1998) The effect of sika-deer browsing on the biomass and morphology of a dwarf bamboo, Sasa nipponica in Mt. Ohdaigaharam, central Japan. For Ecol Manag 103:49–56CrossRefGoogle Scholar
    28. Yumoto H, Matsuda T (2006) Dear eats world heritages: ecology of dear and forest Bun-ichi-sogo-shuppan, Tokyo (in Japanese)

    For further details log on website :

    No comments:

    Post a Comment

    Advantages and Disadvantages of Fasting for Runners

    Author BY   ANDREA CESPEDES  Food is fuel, especially for serious runners who need a lot of energy. It may seem counterintuiti...