The genetic structure of a relict population of wood frogs

Conservation Genetics
By: , and 



Habitat fragmentation and the associated reduction in connectivity between habitat patches are commonly cited causes of genetic differentiation and reduced genetic variation in animal populations. We used eight microsatellite markers to investigate genetic structure and levels of genetic diversity in a relict population of wood frogs (Lithobates sylvatica) in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado, where recent disturbances have altered hydrologic processes and fragmented amphibian habitat. We also estimated migration rates among subpopulations, tested for a pattern of isolation-by-distance, and looked for evidence of a recent population bottleneck. The results from the clustering algorithm in Program STRUCTURE indicated the population is partitioned into two genetic clusters (subpopulations), and this result was further supported by factorial component analysis. In addition, an estimate of FST (FST = 0.0675, P value \0.0001) supported the genetic differentiation of the two clusters. Estimates of migration rates among the two subpopulations were low, as were estimates of genetic variability. Conservation of the population of wood frogs may be improved by increasing the spatial distribution of the population and improving gene flow between the subpopulations. Construction or restoration of wetlands in the landscape between the clusters has the potential to address each of these objectives.

Study Area

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title The genetic structure of a relict population of wood frogs
Series title Conservation Genetics
DOI 10.1007/s10592-012-0395-1
Volume 13
Issue 6
Year Published 2012
Language English
Publisher Springer Netherlands
Contributing office(s) Fort Collins Science Center
Description 10 p.
Larger Work Type Article
Larger Work Subtype Journal Article
Larger Work Title Conservation Genetics
First page 1521
Last page 1530
Country United States
State Colorado
Other Geospatial Rocky Mountain National Park
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