Luanta-fir (Cunninghamia konishii), an endemic to Taiwan, is an outcrossing, long-lived conifer. Populations of C. konishii are generally fragmented due to a once high intensity of timber exploitation. C. konishii and Cunninghamia lanceolata are two sibling taxa constituting derivative-progenitor species relationship. The amount of genetic variations within and between 11 and 10 populations of C. konishii and C. lanceolata, respectively, were assessed using amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) markers in this report. Three AFLP primer pairs generated a total of 357 and 226 markers for C. konishii and C. lanceolata samples, of which 56.1 and 65.3% are polymorphic, respectively. Analysis of molecular variance indicates a 4.78% variation between C. konishii and C. lanceolata. A relatively high value of genetic variation (24.60%) was apportioned between the populations of C. konishii. In contrast, a lower divergence value (12.21%) between populations was found for C. lanceolata. The population with the highest genetic diversity was found in Nantou County, which concurred with the results of many other tree species investigated in Taiwan. The estimates of the number of migrants between populations (Nm), obtained from population pair-wise Φ ST, suggest that gene flow in C. konishii is efficient in some adjacent populations but is restricted in the rest. Individual UPGMA tree, generated based on AFLP markers, suggests six evolutionary lineages for C. konishii. All evolutionary lineages of C. konishii were derived from C. lanceolata. In conclusion, the migration patterns of Cunninghamia from mainland China may have been established following multiple sources, migrant-pools, long-distance dispersal events, and via different directions.
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