The present study investigated the genetic diversity, population structure, FST outliers, and extent and pattern of linkage disequilibrium in five populations of Keteleeria davidiana var. formosana, which is listed as a critically endangered species by the Council of Agriculture, Taiwan. Twelve amplified fragment length polymorphism primer pairs generated a total of 465 markers, of which 83.74% on average were polymorphic across populations, with a mean Nei's genetic diversity of 0.233 and a low level of genetic differentiation (approximately 6%) based on the total dataset. Linkage disequilibrium and HICKORY analyses suggested recent population bottlenecks and inbreeding in K. davidiana var. formosana. Both STRUCTURE and BAPS observed extensive admixture of individual genotypes among populations based on the total dataset in various clustering scenarios, which probably resulted from incomplete lineage sorting of ancestral variation rather than a high rate of recent gene flow. Our results based on outlier analysis revealed generally high levels of genetic differentiation and suggest that divergent selection arising from environmental variation has been driven by differences in temperature, precipitation, and humidity. Identification of ecologically associated outliers among environmentally disparate populations further support divergent selection and potential local adaptation.
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