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Fine-Scale Analysis Reveals Cryptic Landscape Genetic Structure in Desert Tortoises

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dc.contributor.author Latch, Emily K. en
dc.contributor.author Boarman, William I. en
dc.contributor.author Walde, Andrew en
dc.contributor.author Fleischer, Robert C. en
dc.date.accessioned 2013-08-05T16:24:54Z
dc.date.available 2013-08-05T16:24:54Z
dc.date.issued 2011
dc.identifier.citation Latch, Emily K., Boarman, William I., Walde, Andrew, and Fleischer, Robert C. 2011. "<a href="https%3A%2F%2Frepository.si.edu%2Fhandle%2F10088%2F21107">Fine-Scale Analysis Reveals Cryptic Landscape Genetic Structure in Desert Tortoises</a>." <em>PLoS ONE</em>. 6 (11):1&ndash;10. <a href="https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0027794">https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0027794</a> en
dc.identifier.issn 1932-6203
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10088/21107
dc.description.abstract Characterizing the effects of landscape features on genetic variation is essential for understanding how landscapes shape patterns of gene flow and spatial genetic structure of populations. Most landscape genetics studies have focused on patterns of gene flow at a regional scale. However, the genetic structure of populations at a local scale may be influenced by a unique suite of landscape variables that have little bearing on connectivity patterns observed at broader spatial scales. We investigated fine-scale spatial patterns of genetic variation and gene flow in relation to features of the landscape in desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii), using 859 tortoises genotyped at 16 microsatellite loci with associated data on geographic location, sex, elevation, slope, and soil type, and spatial relationship to putative barriers (power lines, roads). We used spatially explicit and non-explicit Bayesian clustering algorithms to partition the sample into discrete clusters, and characterize the relationships between genetic distance and ecological variables to identify factors with the greatest influence on gene flow at a local scale. Desert tortoises exhibit weak genetic structure at a local scale, and we identified two subpopulations across the study area. Although genetic differentiation between the subpopulations was low, our landscape genetic analysis identified both natural (slope) and anthropogenic (roads) landscape variables that have significantly influenced gene flow within this local population. We show that desert tortoise movements at a local scale are influenced by features of the landscape, and that these features are different than those that influence gene flow at larger scales. Our findings are important for desert tortoise conservation and management, particularly in light of recent translocation efforts in the region. More generally, our results indicate that recent landscape changes can affect gene flow at a local scale and that their effects can be detected almost immediately. en
dc.relation.ispartof PLoS ONE en
dc.title Fine-Scale Analysis Reveals Cryptic Landscape Genetic Structure in Desert Tortoises en
dc.type Journal Article en
dc.identifier.srbnumber 108175
dc.identifier.doi 10.1371/journal.pone.0027794
rft.jtitle PLoS ONE
rft.volume 6
rft.issue 11
rft.spage 1
rft.epage 10
dc.description.SIUnit CCEG en
dc.description.SIUnit NZP en
dc.description.SIUnit Peer-reviewed en
dc.citation.spage 1
dc.citation.epage 10


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