The Mediterranean habitat of Populus alba
is highly fragmented and has been subject to long-term human interference, so it is not known whether some populations are native or exotic in origin. Using chloroplast and nuclear microsatellites, Brundu et al. (pp. 997–1006)
study populations of uncertain origin from the island of Sardinia, and demonstrate that white poplar could be regarded as a floristic relict of the native flora with an unusual prevalence of vegetative spread capable of giving rise to very large monoclonal stands, with a restricted number of genets and unique haplotypes.