Clonal Diversity Within and Among Introduced Populations of the Apomictic Vine Bryonia alba (Cucurbitaceae)

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Bryonia alba L. (Cucurbitaceae) is a herbaceous Eurasian vine that predominantly reproduces clonally (asexually) through apomixis. We assessed the magnitude and distribution of clonal diversity within and among 23 recently established populations of B. alba in its new range in the western United States, based on the distribution of multilocus isozyme genotypes. Fifty-two unique clones were detected: 30 in the nine populations from eastern Washington and northern Idaho, and the remaining 22 in 14 populations from western Montana, northern Utah, and southern Idaho. On average, each population of B. alba was composed of 6.4 clones, and the proportion of distinguishable clones was 0.275. Multilocus diversity (D) was 0.632 and multilocus evenness (E) was 0.556. Twenty-six of 52 clones (50%) were restricted to a single population, and, on average, each clone occurred in 2.83 populations. Compared with other clonally reproducing plant species, this vine possesses moderate to high levels of clonal diversity in its new range in the western United States. This diversity appears to be a consequence of the events associated with its introduction (including multiple introductions), founder effects, and the proportion of sexual to apomictic reproduction within populations.