Genetic analyses reveal high levels of seed and pollen flow in hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna Jacq.), a key component of hedgerows

James A. Brown, Gemma E. Beatty, Caroline M V Finlay, W. Ian Montgomery, David G. Tosh, Jim Provan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Hedgerows represent important components of agri-environment landscapes that are increasingly coming under threat from climate change, emergent diseases, invasive species and land use change. Given that population genetic data can be used to inform best-practice management strategies for woodland and hedgerow tree species, we carried out a study on hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna Jacq.), a key component of hedgerows, on a regional basis using a combination of nuclear and chloroplast microsatellite markers. We found that levels of genetic diversity were high and comparable to, or slightly higher than, other tree species from the same region. Levels of population differentiation for both sets of markers, however, were extremely low, suggesting extensive gene flow via both seed and pollen. These findings suggest that a holistic approach to woodland management, one which does not necessarily rely on the concept of “seed zones” previously suggested, but which also takes into account populations with high and/or rare chloroplast (i.e. seed-specific) genetic variation, might be the best approach to restocking and replanting.

Original languageEnglish
Article number58
Number of pages8
JournalTree Genetics and Genomes
Issue number3
Early online date26 May 2016
Publication statusPublished - 01 Jun 2016


  • Crataegus monogyna
  • Gene flow
  • Genetic diversity
  • Hawthorn
  • Microsatellites
  • Woodland management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Forestry
  • Horticulture
  • Genetics
  • Molecular Biology


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