Genetic Variation and Structure in Contrasting Geographic Distributions: Widespread Versus Restricted Black-Tailed Prairie Dogs (Subgenus Cynomys)

Gabriela Castellanos-Morales, Jorge Ortega, Reyna A. Castillo-Gámez, Loren C. Sackett, Luis E. Eguiarte

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

© 2015 The American Genetic Association 2015. All rights reserved. Species of restricted distribution are considered more vulnerable to extinction because of low levels of genetic variation relative to widespread taxa. Species of the subgenus Cynomys are an excellent system to compare genetic variation and degree of genetic structure in contrasting geographic distributions. We assessed levels of genetic variation, genetic structure, and genetic differentiation in widespread Cynomys ludovicianus and restricted C. mexicanus using 1997bp from the cytochrome b and control region (n = 223 C. ludovicianus; 77 C. mexicanus), and 10 nuclear microsatellite loci (n = 207 and 78, respectively). Genetic variation for both species was high, and genetic structure in the widespread species was higher than in the restricted species. C. mexicanus showed values of genetic variation, genetic structure, and genetic differentiation similar to C. ludovicianus at smaller geographic scales. Results suggest the presence of at least 2 historical refuges for C. ludovicianus and that the Sierra Madre Occidental represents a barrier to gene flow. Chihuahua and New Mexico possess high levels of genetic diversity and should be protected, while Sonora should be treated as an independent management unit. For C. mexicanus, connectivity among colonies is very important and habitat fragmentation and habitat loss should be mitigated to maintain gene flow.
Original languageAmerican English
Pages478-490
Number of pages13
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2015
EventJournal of Heredity -
Duration: 1 Jan 2015 → …

Conference

ConferenceJournal of Heredity
Period1/01/15 → …

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