Poster presented during the Systematics Conference 2008, Göttingen, Germany. Download from figshare: http://figshare.com/articles/Patterns_of_genetic_diversity_of_Fagus_sylvatica_L_in_Rodopi_Mountains_of_N_E_Greece/154579
The taxonomic classification of European beech has been lately subject of long scientific discussions. Genetic variation at AFLPs, chloroplast microsatellites and variation in leaf morphology have been analysed in four populations of F. sylvatica in the greek Rodopi Mountains. The analysis of morphological traits reveals differences between the western and the eastern part of the Rodopi Mountains. Moreover, high levels of haplotype diversity were observed within populations, while in central and western Europe no variation at cpDNA markers was detected. Clinal variation patterns have occurred at both morphological and molecular markers, with the variation increasing from the west to the east. Differentiation among populations was found, as expected, stronger at maternaly inherited cpDNA. The results obtained in this study, can be explained either by considering the greek Rodopi an introgression zone between subspecies sylvatica and subspecies orientalis or by the existance of a main glacial refugial area. These scenarios are not mutually exclusive.