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Genetic differentiation in two European tree frog (Hyla arborea) metapopulations in contrasted landscapes of western Switzerland

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The survival of threatened species as the European tree frog (Hyla arborea) is strongly dependent on the genetic variability within populations, as well as gene flow between them. In Switzerland, only two sectors in its western part still harbour metapopulations. The first is characterised by a very heterogeneous and urbanized landscape, while the second is characterised by a uninterrupted array of suitable habitats. In this study, six microsatellite loci were used to establish levels of genetic differentiation among the populations from the two different locations. The results show that the metapopulations have: (i) weak levels of genetic differentiation (FST within metapopulation ≈ 0.04), (ii) no difference in levels of genetic structuring between them, (iii) significant (p = 0.019) differences in terms of genetic diversity (Hs) and observed heterozygozity (Ho), the metapopulation located in a disturbed landscape showing lower values. Our results suggest that even if the dispersal of H. arborea among contiguous ponds seems to be efficient in areas of heterogeneous landscape, a loss of genetic diversity can occur.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Ecology and Evolution, Laboratory for Conservation Biology, Biophore, CH-1015 Lausanne, Switzerland; Heydon-Laurence Bld, A08, Science Road, School of Biological Sciences, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia; 2: Department of Ecology and Evolution, Laboratory for Conservation Biology, Biophore, CH-1015 Lausanne, Switzerland; Department of Environmental Sciences, Section of Conservation Biology, University of Basel, St. Johanns-Vorstadt 10, CH-4056 Basel, Switzerland; 3: Department of Ecology and Evolution, Laboratory for Conservation Biology, Biophore, CH-1015 Lausanne, Switzerland; A. Maibach Sàrl, CP99, Ch. de la Poya 10, 1610 CH-Oron-la-Ville, Switzerland; 4: Department of Ecology and Evolution, Laboratory for Conservation Biology, Biophore, CH-1015 Lausanne, Switzerland

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/content/journals/10.1163/156853809787392775
2009-02-01
2017-02-26

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