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Type of publication: Journal Article
Type of document: Full Paper

Year: 2021

Authors: Williams, ST; Elbers, JP; Taylor, SS

Title: Population structure, gene flow, and sex-biased dispersal in the reticulated flatwoods salamander (Ambystoma bishopi): Implications for translocations.

Source: Evol Appl. 2021 14 (9) 2231-2243.



Authors Vetmeduni Vienna:

Elbers Jean Pierre

Vetmed Research Units
Research Institute of Wildlife Ecology


Abstract:
Understanding patterns of gene flow and population structure is vital for managing threatened and endangered species. The reticulated flatwoods salamander (Ambystoma bishopi) is an endangered species with a fragmented range; therefore, assessing connectivity and genetic population structure can inform future conservation. Samples collected from breeding sites (n = 5) were used to calculate structure and gene flow using three marker types: single nucleotide polymorphisms isolated from potential immune genes (SNPs), nuclear data from the major histocompatibility complex (MHC), and the mitochondrial control region. At a broad geographical scale, nuclear data (SNP and MHC) supported gene flow and little structure (FST = 0.00-0.09) while mitochondrial structure was high (ΦST = 0.15-0.36) and gene flow was low. Mitochondrial markers also exhibited isolation by distance (IBD) between sites (p = 0.01) and within one site (p = 0.04) while nuclear markers did not show IBD between or within sites (p = 0.17 and p = 0.66). Due to the discordant results between nuclear and mitochondrial markers, our results suggest male-biased dispersal. Overall, salamander populations showed little genetic differentiation and structure with some gene flow, at least historically, among sampling sites. Given historic gene flow and a lack of population structure, carefully considered reintroductions could begin to expand the limited range of this salamander to ensure its long-term resilience.© 2021 The Authors. Evolutionary Applications published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


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