The extent of south-north pollen transfer in Finnish Scots pine
In order to evaluate the possibility of long distance gene flow in Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.), we measured the amount and germinability of airborne pollen and flowering phenology in central, northern, and northernmost Finland during 1997–2000. Totally 2.3% of the detected germinable pollen grains were in the air prior to local pollen shedding. The mean number of germinable pollen grains m–3 air per day was lower prior to local pollen shedding, but in the year 2000 there were more germinable pollen grains in the air of central study site prior to local pollen shedding. Prior to the onset of pollen shedding, 7.5% of female strobili which we observed were receptive. On average female strobili became receptive three days earlier than local pollen shedding started. During the period of pollen shedding in the central study site, we detected germinable airborne pollen in the northern site in years 1997, 1999 and 2000. At the northermost site, we detected germinable airborne pollen during the pollen-shedding period of the northern site in 2000. Our detection of germinable airborne pollen and synchrony of strobili maturation from south to north suggest that populations of Scots pine in central and northern Finland may provide genetic material to populations in northern and northernmost Finland, respectively.
Received 1 June 2009 Accepted 10 November 2009 Published 31 December 2009