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Title: Population genetics of the endangered South American freshwater turtle, Podocnemis unifilis, inferred from microsatellite DNA data
Authors: Escalona, Tibisay
Engstrom, Tag N.
Hernández, Omar E.
Bock, Brian C.
Vogt, Richard Carl
Valenzuela, Nicole
Keywords: Basin
Endangered Species
Evolutionary Biology
Freshwater Ecosystem
Gene Flow
Genetic Analysis
Genetic Variation
Geographical Variation
Genetics, Population
Population Structure
Species Conservations
South America
Podocnemis Unifilis
Issue Date: 2009
metadata.dc.publisher.journal: Conservation Genetics
metadata.dc.relation.ispartof: Volume 10, Número 6, Pags. 1683-1696
Abstract: We studied the population genetics of Podocnemis unifilis turtles within and among basins in the Orinoco and Amazon drainages using microsatellites. We detected high levels of genetic diversity in all sampled localities. However, 'M-ratio' tests revealed a substantial recent population decline in ten localities, in accord with current widespread exploitation. Our results reveal a consistent pattern across multiple analyses, showing a clear subdivision between the populations inhabiting the Amazon and Orinoco drainages despite a direct connection via the Casiquiare corridor, and suggesting the existence of two biogeographically independent and widely divergent lineages. Genetic differentiation followed an isolation-by-distance model concordant with hypotheses about migration. It appears that migration occurs via the flooded forest in some drainages, and via river channels in those where geographic barriers preclude dispersal between basins or even among nearby tributaries of the same basin. These observations caution against making generalizations based on geographically restricted data, and indicate that geographically proximate populations may be demographically separate units requiring independent management. © Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008.
metadata.dc.identifier.doi: 10.1007/s10592-008-9746-3
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