The main aim of this work is an attempt to help researchers that use microsatellite markers to analyze microevolutionary forces in natural populations of native forest species. This kind of studies drives the researchers to make decisions regarding management or conservation of such species. This chapter pays attention to the entire process—from development of microsatellite markers, going through data analysis and ending with interpretation of these results. This work helps to researchers that are not familiarizing with methods and population genetics theories to analyze nuclear and chloroplast microsatellite data. These methods allow quantification of genetic variation and genetic structure in native forest species, and theoretical content allows knowledge about the past and the present genetic states of populations for making inferences about the future of these populations.
Part of the book: Microsatellite Markers
Genetic diversity comprises the total of genetic variability contained in a population and it represents the fundamental component of changes since it determines the microevolutionary potential of populations. There are several measures for quantifying the genetic diversity, most notably measures based on heterozygosity and measures based on allelic richness, i.e. the expected number of alleles in populations of same size. These measures differ in their theoretical background and, in consequence, they differ in their ecological and evolutionary interpretations. Therefore, in the present chapter these measures of genetic diversity were jointly analyzed, highlighting the changes expected as consequence of gene flow and genetic drift. To develop this analysis, computational simulations of extreme scenarios combining changes in the levels of gene flow and population size were performed.
Part of the book: Genetic Variation