Recent introduction or ancient ancestry? Use of genetic evidence to investigate the origins of range edge populations in natterjack toads (Bufo calamita)

May, Shoshanna and Beebee, Trevor J C (2010) Recent introduction or ancient ancestry? Use of genetic evidence to investigate the origins of range edge populations in natterjack toads (Bufo calamita). Conservation Genetics, 11 (1). pp. 293-300. ISSN 1566-0621

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Abstract

The ability to distinguish between native and translocated populations is important in conservation biology, but can be problematic, especially near range edges. We describe here the use of variable genetic markers as an approach to resolving this issue. Natterjack toads Bufo calamita have a very restricted distribution in south-west Ireland. Populations in the main distribution area are well documented, but there are also some recently discovered ones at a widely separated site. We used genetic evidence to investigate whether the recently discovered populations are newly established or of ancient origin, using three criteria: genetic diversity, genetic structure and estimated time since divergence. The results highlighted some difficulties of using genetic data from range edge populations, where such issues are most likely to arise but where diversity (and thus statistical power) is often low. On balance the genetic data weakly supported the hypothesis that the newly discovered populations are not recent translocations. It will always be important in such investigations to use genetic inferences in combination with other independent lines of evidence (such as fossils) wherever possible

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Life Sciences > Evolution, Behaviour and Environment
Depositing User: Shoshanna May
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 20:33
Last Modified: 12 Jun 2012 12:58
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/26631
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