Significant patterns of population genetic structure and limited gene flow in a threatened macropodid marsupial despite continuous habitat in southeast Queensland, Australia

Hazlitt, S. L., Goldizen, A. W. and Eldridge, M. D. B. (2006) Significant patterns of population genetic structure and limited gene flow in a threatened macropodid marsupial despite continuous habitat in southeast Queensland, Australia. Conservation Genetics, 7 5: 675-689. doi:10.1007/s10592-005-9101-x


Author Hazlitt, S. L.
Goldizen, A. W.
Eldridge, M. D. B.
Title Significant patterns of population genetic structure and limited gene flow in a threatened macropodid marsupial despite continuous habitat in southeast Queensland, Australia
Journal name Conservation Genetics   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1566-0621
Publication date 2006-10
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1007/s10592-005-9101-x
Volume 7
Issue 5
Start page 675
End page 689
Total pages 15
Place of publication Dordrecht, The Netherlands
Publisher Kluwer Academic Publishers
Collection year 2006
Language eng
Subject C1
270203 Population and Ecological Genetics
770703 Living resources (flora and fauna)
0604 Genetics
Abstract Many endangered species worldwide are found in remnant populations, often within fragmented landscapes. However, when possible, an understanding of the natural extent of population structure and dispersal behaviour of threatened species would assist in their conservation and management. The brush-tailed rock-wallaby (Petrogale penicillata), a once abundant and widespread rock-wallaby species across southeastern Australia, has become nearly extinct across much of the southern part of its range. However, the northern part of the species' range still sustains many small colonies closely distributed across suitable habitat, providing a rare opportunity to investigate the natural population dynamics of a listed threatened species. We used 12 microsatellite markers to investigate genetic diversity, population structure and gene flow among brush-tailed rock-wallaby colonies within and among two valley regions with continuous habitat in southeast Queensland. We documented high and signifcant levels of population genetic structure between rock-wallaby colonies embedded in continuous escarpment habitat and forest. We found a strong and significant pattern of isolation-by-distance among colonies indicating restricted gene flow over a small geographic scale (< 10 km) and conclude that gene flow is more likely limited by intrinsic factors rather than environmental factors. In addition, we provide evidence that genetic diversity was significantly lower in colonies located in a more isolated valley region compared to colonies located in a valley region surrounded by continuous habitat. These findings shed light on the processes that have resulted in the endangered status of rock-wallaby species in Australia and they have strong implications for the conservation and management of both the remaining 'connected' brush-tailed rock-wallaby colonies in the northern parts of the species' range and the remnant endangered populations in the south.
Keyword Contemporary Gene Flow
Microsatellites
Population Genetic Structure
Rock-wallaby
Threatened Species
Biodiversity Conservation
Genetics & Heredity
Footed Rock-wallaby
Petrogale-xanthopus Gray
Multilocus Genotype Data
Microsatellite Loci
Eastern Australia
Dispersal
Individuals
Differentiation
Phylogeography
Penicillata
Q-Index Code C1

 
Versions
Version Filter Type
Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 21 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 21 times in Scopus Article | Citations
Google Scholar Search Google Scholar
Created: Wed, 15 Aug 2007, 09:13:50 EST